One day after presenting a mid-year review of Ghana’s 2018 budgtet, Ghana’s Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta has been elected to chair the Governing Board of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for the next two years. He takes over from the Minister for Finance of Malawi, Goodall Gondwe.
Ghana has also been elected to serve on the Revenue Resource Committee of the Harare based Foundation.
The election took place at the just-ended 27th Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Foundation in Yaoundé, Cameroon. ACBF is the specialized technical arm of the African Union for capacity building and development.
The election of Mr Ofori-Atta comes three months after he was adjudged the Best African Finance Minister at the 53rd Annual General Meetings of the African Development Bank in Seoul, South Korea.
Ghana was the sole candidate and after being proposed by Liberia, delegates made up of senior government officials, development partners and the top hierarchy of ACBF unanimously approved the candidature of Mr Ofori-Atta and sources among delegates attributed the choice to unrelenting commitment by him to turn-around economic fundamentals both in his home country of Ghana and on the continent generally since becoming Finance Minister almost two years ago.
Since its inception in 1991, ACBF has spearheaded and co-ordinated capacity development programmes worth some $700 million across 45 countries and eight regional economic communities and Ghana has been a committed member. To demonstrate her commitment towards the five-year strategic plan of the ACBF, Ghana pledged a total of $2 million which has since been fulfilled.
The Head of the African Union Desk at Ghana’s Ministry of Finance, Emmanuel Fordjour who led Ghana’s two-member delegation to the Board Meeting said Ghana’s election to head the highest decision-making organ of the foundation will propel her to do more for the regional body.
“Ghana already hosts the West and Central Africa Regional Office of ACBF and we intend to use the period of our chairmanship to canvass more support for the work ahead and also encourage knowledge sharing to stabilise our economies and improve on our capacity needs”, he told www.ghanabusinessnews.com during a post-election interview.
On the issue of youth employment which took centre-stage during a high-level forum on the sidelines of the Board Meetings, Mr Fordjour reiterated the desire of the Ghanaian government to use well-thought-out strategies to address the menace.
He cited ongoing efforts to recruit 100,000 youth under a state-sponsored Nation Builders Corps programme and stressed the urgent need to properly match needs of the working world to skills and knowledge acquisition in educational institutions.
Ghana, like many African countries is grappling with rising figures of its unemployed youth, which development experts have warned needs to be dealt with by the creation of employment opportunities to forestall what has been described as a waiting disaster.
By Emmanuel J.K Arthur, in Yaoundé, Cameroon
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