Midrand, South Africa, 29 March 2011 - The African Union (AU) formally launched the Africa Platform for Development Effectiveness (APDev) during the 4th AU Commission (AUC)/ Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) Joint Conference of Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economy on 27 March 2011 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The APDev is the connecting mechanism on Aid Effectiveness (AE) and South-South Cooperation (SSC) with Capacity Development (CD) as the core driver for development effectiveness (DE).
The AU Commissioner of Economic Affairs, H.E. Dr. Maxwell Mkwezalamba and the Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of UNECA, Mr. Abdoulie Janneh co-launched the Platform. Ambassador John Kayode Shinkaiye, Chief of Staff, Bureau of Chairperson, AU Commission, delivered the keynote address.
High level dignitaries took part in the launch and delivered statements, namely Secretary General of COMESA, H.E. Sindiso Ngwenya; Vice Secretary General of COMESA, H.E Stephen Karangizi; Vice President of ECOWAS, H.E Jean de Dieu; Deputy Minister of Regional and Sectoral Planning of Liberia, Hon. James Dorbor Jallah and United Nations Development Programme, Capacity Development Group Director, Mr. Nils Boesen.
Jointly coordinated by the AUC and the NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency), APDev is an African-owned and led innovation offering a physical and virtual multi-stakeholder platform for mobilising African policy makers and practitioners towards achieving sustainable development results. The APDev was endorsed by the 15th African Union Summit of July 2010 in Kampala, Uganda and serves as a knowledge base and hub for mutual learning. The Platform is premised on the AU NEPAD Capacity Development Strategic Framework (CDSF) which seeks to address significant knowledge-based capacities towards addressing Africa's development challenges
Speaking during the launch, the AU Commissioner for Economic Affairs acknowledged the “roles played by H.E. Dr. Jean Ping, Chairperson of the AUC, and Dr. Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, Chief Executive Officer, NEPAD Agency, in ensuring that the AUC and the NEPAD Agency work together in a coordinated and harmonious manner on APDev”. This is “a clear indication that NEPAD has indeed been integrated in the structures and processes of the African Union,” he added.
Delivering the co-launch statement, the UN Under Secretary-General underscored the need for “greater investment in knowledge and learning' if Africa is to be globally competitive. He highlighted that “the theme “Governing Development in Africa” of the 4th AU/ECA Joint Conference of Ministers of Finance, Economic Development and Planning is relevant to the work and thrust of the Platform”.
Mr. Janneh welcomed APDev “as a commendable and bold initiative that will add value to Africa's development landscape”
In his keynote remarks, Ambassador Shinkaiye called for “the use of the newly-endorsed AU/NEPAD Capacity Development Strategic Framework as a regional integrated policy tool to strengthen country systems for not only the Paris Declaration and Accra Agenda for Action implementation but most importantly for overall development. Capacity Development is critical to promoting African ownership and leadership of Africa's development agenda, including the achievement of aid effectiveness and sustainable development”.
Representatives of African countries, regional bodies, the AU Commission and the NEPAD Agency, parliaments, civil society groups, academia, private sector, media and development partners, witnessed the official launch of the Platform.
As part of the launch event, the online community www.africa-platform.org was unveiled and a number of participants registered to join the Platform.
At the launch, African stakeholders expressed support for APDev and reiterated the need for the Platform to engage widely in the consultations and preparations for the upcoming High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea in November 2011. To this effect, APDev will coordinate the inputs of stakeholders for the African Consensus Statement on Development Effectiveness for Busan.
The coordination of APDEv is supported by an Oversight Committee, which comprises African countries, RECs and key stakeholders, and is designed to provide policy advice and operational guidance for the Platform.
For more info about APDEV and to register on the platform visit: www.africa-platform.org