The first peer-review meeting for the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) under the Africa for Results (AfriK4R) initiative kicked off in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on February 24, 2015.
The three-day meeting is aimed at evaluating the efforts of eight COMESA member states and associated country Tanzania in improving policy convergence and results-oriented policies and programs in the region, with a focus on accelerating the implementation of development interventions.
Speaking at the opening on behalf of Kenya’s Devolution and Planning Cabinet Secretary Anne Waiguru, Principal Secretary Eng. Peter Mangiti stressed the need for development interventions with a transformative impact. He also challenged country delegates to plan and implement better in order to “make sure development drivers are impacting people’s lives at least possible cost”.
Kipyego Cheluget, Assistant General Secretary for Programmes at the COMESA Secretariat, made a passionate appeal to member states to show commitment to achieving results and help scale up the benefits of regional integration.
In her presentation on COMESA and its Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (FTA), Anne Ndirangu, Chief of Monitoring and Evaluation at the COMESA Secretariat, emphasized that “regional integration is the way forward for Africa”; echoing the sentiments of Kenyan Cabinet Secretary for East African Affairs Phylis Kandie, who was represented by Integration Secretary Barrack Ndegwa. The Tripartite FTA is slated for launch by mid-2015.
During his speech on behalf of Gabriel Negatu, Director of the Bank’s East Africa Regional Resource Center (EARC), Stefan Muller called on delegates to address the issue of “soft” infrastructure which would help “build strong and accountable institutions and create a performance culture that permeates the management of public affairs and accelerates regional integration”.
Victoria Chisala, AfCoP Coordinator and Results Division Manager of Quality and Results at the Bank, reiterated both AfCoP and AfDB’s commitment to supporting regional integration efforts in the COMESA region.
Throughout the meeting, 140 delegates representing government, civil society, private sector, parliament, as well as gender and youth organizations will share insights, best practices and solutions on key regional integration objectives, including the promotion of an attractive business climate; trade facilitation and improved public financial management; and the mainstreaming of a managing for development results (MfDR) culture in the COMESA Secretariat and its member states.
The event is organized under the Africa for Results (AfriK4R) Initiative; the flagship program of the African Community of Practice on Managing for Development Results, housed within the Quality and Results Department of the Bank, in collaboration with COMESA and with support from EARC. AfriK4R aims at building results capacity and accelerating regional integration through MfDR, and the AfriK4R-COMESA Peer Review Meeting represents the first major regional activity since the COMESA-CoP’s establishment in May 2012.
COMESA-CoP is the result of a partnership launched in 2012 between the African Community of Practice for Managing on Development Results (AfCoP-MfDR) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern States (COMESA) and aims at accelerating regional policy implementation through the use of MfDR tools and mainstreaming the use of results-based management principles.
The African Community of Practice (AfCoP) is a coalition of over 3,500 development leaders and practitioners from 68 countries globally. AfCoP members work for African governments, civil society, and as independent experts in the field. The African Development Bank (AfDB), in partnership with the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), is supporting AfCoP in mainstreaming MfDR on the continent with a focus on regional integration.
The Africa for Results (AfriK4R) initiative, AfCoP’s flagship program, aims to promote regional integration in Africa through the use of managing for development results (MfDR) principles and practices. To date, 17 countries have committed to the AfriK4R initiative, namely Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Senegal, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The WAEMU and COMESA regional economic communities are also partners on the AfriK4R initiative.
* Source AFDB