THE government of India intends to join the membership of the Harare-based African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), a major international development institution support
ing capacity-building efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.
India will thus become the 36th member of ACBF, a watershed development which will add a South-South co-operation dimension to the Partnership for Capacity Building in Africa (Pact), a major capacity building initiative launched in the year 2000 by African heads of state and their development partners.
It was aimed at strengthening the human and institutional capacity of African countries to design and implement home-grown economic policies and programmes as well as improve the interface between the core public sector, civil society and the private sector.
“It may be recalled that over the years, India has always been a good friend of Africa and made invaluable contributions to the political liberation of Africa and its struggles to achieve socio-economic development, African unity, and a non-aligned presence in world affairs,” an ACBF spokesperson said.
“Countries and institutions which join the ACBF, provide the resource base of the Foundation from which it is able to provide financial and technical support to capacity-building projects and programmes in Africa. Substantial investment in capacity building is still required if Africa is to successfully achieve the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and the objectives of the (Nepad) Initiative.”
Since 2000, when the Foundation began implementing the Pact, nine new member countries and organisations, including the International Monetary Fund, Ireland and Rwanda, have joined.
The African Union is an honorary member of ACBF.
The Foundation’s current membership includes the African Development Bank, the IMF, the United Nations Development Programme, the World Bank, and 21 African countries including Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The organisation also has 10 major non-African bilateral donors that include Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Ireland, The Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.
Several other countries and organisations, including Congo-Brazzaville, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Guinea-Conakry, Sudan and Swaziland, have expressed a strong interest in joining the Foundation.
In addition, the European Union has indicated its intention to contribute resources to the Foundation towards the implementation of key capacity building components of Nepad.