Joint Africa Institute-Capacity Building, Governance, and Economic Reform in China

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Joint Africa Institute
Capacity Building, Governance,
and Economic Reform in Africa

Proceedings of the Inaugural Seminar held in
Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire—November 2–3, 1999
International Monetary Fund • African Development Bank • World Bank

Edited by Michel A. Dessart and Roland E. Ubogu
©2001 International Monetary Fund
October 2, 2001

    Michel A. Dessart

  1. Capacity Building, Governance, and Economic Reform in Africa

  2. Opening Addresses
        Omar Kabbaj
        Michel Camdessus
        Vinod Thomas
        Daniel Kablan Duncan

  3. The Changing Role of the State, Governance and New Capacity Requirements

  4.     Tidjane Thiam
        Henock Kifle
        George Abed
        Vinod Thomas
        Comments from the floor

  5. The Challenge of Achieving Macroeconomic
    Stability in Africa

  6.     Goodall Gondwe
        Kwesi Botchwey
        Mamoudou Touré
        Comments from the floor

  7. Requirements for Capacity Building in Africa

  8.     Charles Konan Banny
        Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu
        Juliette Bonkoungou
        Jose Sulemane
        Comments from the floor

  9. Role of International Financial Institutions in Capacity Building in Africa

  10.     Ole Blicher Olsen
        Cyril Enweze
        Saleh Nsouli
        Brian Levy
        Comments from the floor

    Closing Remarks
        Chanel Boucher

    List of Participants

Michel A. Dessart

On behalf of the African Development Bank (ADB), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the World Bank, I am pleased, as the first Director of the Joint Africa Institute (JAI), to present below the proceedings of the Inaugural Seminar.

The establishment of the JAI reflects the strong commitment of the three institutions to a close collaboration that responds to the critical learning needs of countries throughout Africa. The three institutions are committed to capacity building in Africa. I am confident that the activities of the JAI will enhance the institutional capacity of national governments to better manage their economies and will contribute to economic development in Africa.

As a reflection of this, the Institute selected the theme "Capacity Building, Governance, and Economic Reform in Africa" for its Inaugural Seminar. The seminar had two main objectives. First, it was to introduce the JAI to a large audience and to obtain immediate feedback on its mission and program. Second, it was to provide participants from multilateral institutions, the African public sector, and African academics with a forum, in which to discuss approaches to improving systems of governance and finding workable capacity-building solutions to Africa's economic development process.

The seminar gathered about 130 participants, including the Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire, central bank governors, ministers, senior government officials, professionals from the academics and regional training institutions; the African Development Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were represented by the president, vice-presidents, executive directors, heads of departments, directors and deputy directors of their respective training institutes and other professionals (see the list of participants in the Attachment).

This volume comprises the addresses and presentations made during the five sessions of the seminar. Summarized comments from participants at the end of each session are also included. In addition to the Opening Session which broadly addressed the theme of the Seminar, four separate panels were organised on the following sub-topics: the Changing Role of the State, Governance, and New Capacity Requirements; the Challenge of Achieving Macroeconomic Stability in Africa; Requirement for Capacity Building in Africa; and the Role of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Capacity Building in Africa.

The Opening Session consisted of four addresses. They were delivered by Mr. Omar Kabbaj, President of the ADB, Mr. Michel Camdessus, Managing Director of the IMF (by videotape), Mr. Vinod Thomas, Director of the World Bank Institute (WBI), on behalf of Mr. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, and Mr. Kablan Duncan, Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire. The speakers welcomed the continued collaboration between the three JAI sponsoring institutions. They highlighted the considerable benefits Africa will realize as these institutions bring together the best of their training capacities directly to the region. They regarded the establishment of the JAI as "a new milestone in the enhancement of economic and financial training opportunities in Africa".

The second session, chaired by Mr. T. Thiam, Minister of Planning and Development of Côte d'Ivoire, reviewed the Changing Role of the State, Governance, and New Capacity Requirements. The speakers, namely Messrs. T. Thiam (Côte d'Ivoire), H. Kifle (ADB), G. Abed (IMF), and V. Thomas (World Bank), discussed the emerging new role of the state. This role includes ensuring peace and macroeconomic stability, promoting good governance and sound economic management, enhancing political democracy, and creating a conducive environment for the promotion of the private sector.

The third session, under the chairmanship of Mr. G. Gondwe (IMF), was devoted to the Challenge of Achieving Macroeconomic Stability in Africa. Two papers were presented by Mr. K. Botchwey, former Ghanaian Minister of Finance, and Mr. M. Touré, former Senegalese Minister of Finance, after an introductory statement by the Chairman. The speakers stated that, although achieving macroeconomic stabilization was still an important objective for many countries, the main issues at stake now were promoting good governance, reducing corruption, and especially alleviating poverty.

The fourth session, which dealt with the Requirement for Capacity Building in Africa, was chaired by BCEAO Governor K. Banny. There were three papers presented, and introductory remarks by the Chairman. The three speakers, namely, Mrs. R. Nankabirwa, Uganda's Minister of State,

Mrs. J. Bonkoungou (Burkina Faso), and Mr. J. Sulemane (Mozambique), agreed that high-level skills and well-functioning institutions were necessary for the sustainability of economic development. African countries and their training institutions must however be deeply involved in the process of capacity building.

The fifth session, chaired by Mr. O.B. Olsen, Ambassador of Denmark to Ghana, dealt with the Role of International Financial Institutions (IFIs) in Capacity Building in Africa. After a brief address, the Chairman called on members of the panel to make their presentation. The various roles played by the ADB, the IMF, and the World Bank in capacity building, particularly in Africa, were highlighted by Mr. C. Enweze (ADB), Mr. S. Nsouli (IMF), and Mr. B. Levy (World Bank) respectively. Participants agreed that weak capacity critically hindered development.

In his closing remarks, Mr. Chanel Boucher, Vice-President of the African Development Bank, underscored the Seminar's recommendations to the JAI: that the JAI provide more Africans with high quality training; that its program have a truly African focus; and that it offer specific training that complements, not duplicates, the training provided by other institutions.