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Hard Times: the World Economic Crisis and Emerging Capacity Challenges for Africa

Kararach, George
Date of publication: 

The world economy has changed significantly in recent times. With greater financial globalisation, there emerged a mistaken perception that 'fathomless' capital was a pattern of this 'new world'. It soon became apparent that the recent financial crisis was a result of fragility in the financial system – in turn a product of limited/lack of transparency in the system. There has been limited understanding as to how the financial markets work – not only in the developing world where skills are in short supply – but more importantly by officials in the United States of America (US), European Union (EU) and Japan despite the fact that these blocks form 80% of global gross domestic product (GDP). The paper sheds light on the implications for capacity building/development in Africa given the realities of the New Economic World order – especially new finance regulation issues, new international competition, crisis exit strategies and future technologies. The paper also draws possible roles that can be played by capacity building institutions such as the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) by highlighting four major areas: (a) how the Foundation sources new ideas for capacity development; (b) what approaches to use for resource mobilization and partnerships; (c)howbest to organize the work of the Foundation in knowledge sharing; and (d) what aspects need to shift in the operational programs of the Foundation to handle emerging issues. The paper concludes that Africa needs to develop capacity to respond to shocks effectively.

Occasional Papers
Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana