Leadership forum to focus on Tackling Inequalities | ACORD Learning Forum 2014
ACORD will be hosting its Leadership Forum starting September 25 to 27 in Naivasha, Kenya. The forum whose theme is “Working with national governments in tackling inequalities through structural transformation,” comes at a time when Africa's economy is growing faster than the economies of all other continents, a fact that is globally receiving a lot of attention.
Africa’s workforce will soon become the largest in the world. However, this growth is largely driven by resource extraction, with little value addition within the continent. This raises fundamental questions of inclusion and whether majority of Africans will feel the real benefits of this growth. In Africa, conflict, fragility, corruption, unfair redistribution of wealth and poor social welfare systems remain important challenges. Consequently, inequality has become a critical and defining challenge for Africa.
While growth in most countries has been remarkable over the last decade with about a third of African countries seeing annual GDP growth of more than six per cent, it has occurred alongside limited decent job opportunities and stark inequalities in income, wealth and access to social services. In many countries, the current growth pattern has increased the dependence on the export of primary commodities and minerals.
Through its country and pan African programmes, ACORD works with partners to address issues of inequalities and social injustice. ACORD’s response to the challenges in Africa is firmly based on a belief that people are the agents of change and actors of their own development. ACORD builds the capacities of African citizens to take action on and advocate against the causes of inequalities and poverty in an effort to transform Africa’s future. This belief underpins ACORD’s practical work, its research methodologies and policy advocacy.
The objectives of the forum are developing a shared and common understanding of inequalities as they relate to structural transformation and identifying root causes and consequences of inequalities at national level and how they can be addressed through structural transformation.
Also, participants will develop action plans for tackling inequalities by advocating for structural transformation and a responsive developmental state at national level. They will also discuss how to take advantage of current international opportunities to further work on inequality and structural transformation at the national level.
To date, ACORD has organized learning forums covering strategic discussion topics, including “The role of civil society organizations and the challenges of peace and security and consolidating peace in Africa;” “From Aid Effectiveness to Development Effectiveness: The role of civil society in ensuring democratic ownership for sustainable development and social justice;” and “The Future We Want For Africa: The post-2015 Framework: How Inclusive is the process and content?”
The learning forum is a key component of ACORD’s governance. It is the vehicle through which the organisation seeks to strengthen wider stakeholder accountability. The forum brings together ACORD’s partners; pan African CSOs; governments; the donor community; beneficiaries and like-minded actors from the continent and beyond. The outcomes of the learning forum are expected to influence ACORD’s programming.