Thursday, October 9, 2008

E16m from ACBF to create training opportunities in Swaziland

THE E16m grant received by Swaziland from the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) for an economics research centre will provide the institutional framework for harnessing available skills and create training opportunities.

The Swaziland Economic Policy Analysis and Research Centre (SEPARC) as the station will be known will help build sustainable national capacity to improve the quality and time-consistency of public policies in Swaziland.

Information sourced from an ACBF press statement states that the centre is envisaged to produce well-articulated economic research and policy analysis that will inform government decisions; support dialogue among government, the private sector and civil society; and organise forums that will facilitate dialogue with a wider spectrum of stakeholders on public policy issues in Swaziland.

Dr. Edwin. N. Forlemu, Executive Secretary of ACBF, signed on behalf of the Foundation whilst former Minister of Finance Majozi Sithole signed on behalf of the country, at the ACBF headquarters in Harare.

Speaking at the Grant Agreement signing ceremony, Dr. Edwin Forlemu expressed hope that the SEPARC project would address relevant capacity gaps in Swaziland and open up additional opportunities for ACBF intervention in the country.

Dr. Forlemu also took the opportunity to thank the Kingdom of Swaziland for its contribution of US$250 000 towards the Foundation’s Strategic Medium-Term Plan (2007-2011). “The Kingdom of Swaziland and ACBF join hands today even more forcefully to tackle poverty and other development challenges in Swaziland through this grant,” Dr. Forlemu declared.

The statement states that Sithole expressed thanks to ACBF and emphasized that the establishment of the centre has occurred at an opportune time in Swaziland. “The existence of SEPARC will lead to crucial research, reduce reliance on external expertise and help establish ground for the implementation of planned polices while shaping the future of the Swazi people”, he added.

Total resources committed thus far by ACBF to various capacity-building interventions in Swaziland amount to US$5.4 million. Beneficiaries include: the Coordinating Assembly of Non-Governmental Organisations (CANGO); the Alliance of Mayors’ Initiative on Community Action on AIDS at the Local Level (AMICAALL); and SEPARC.