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CoDA Launched, Seeks Strong and Unified Voice for Africa

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, March 8, 2009 (Ezega.com) -- The Advisory Board for Coalition for Dialogue on Africa (CoDA) officially met on March 6, 2009, at the United Nations Conference Center on the inauguration of CoDA. CoDA is a joint initiative of the Africa Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA). The initiative is an institutionally independent forum that aims to stimulate informal and inclusive dialogue on African economic issues between various stakeholders.

CoDA will play lobbying and advocacy role to promote the incorporation of its deliberations into the Africa Development Agenda. Following a study by the ECA and after wide-ranging consultations with various stakeholders, the CoDA was established as a successor forum to the Global Coalition for Africa (GCA), which was operational between 1990 and 2007. CoDA aims to combine the best elements of GCA with its founding principles and vision. CoDA will be led by high level Advisory Board chaired by His Excellency President Festus Mogae, former president of the Republic of Botswana. Mr. Mogae is expected to serve as a useful bridge between CoDA and GCA, as he was also the Co-Chairman of GCA.
 
“As we improve dialogue on Africa, our continent also needs to strengthen its ability to implement agreed upon resolutions. Accordingly, we see CoDA as being a strong advocate for action to translate policies and initiatives into concrete results that will promote Africa’s socio-economy progress. If Africa wants its interest and concerns taken into account in global affairs, it needs to speak with one voice on such matters. CoDA will, therefore, provide a wider and inclusive mechanism for building African consensus on regional and international matters, including on the current global financial crisis and the forthcoming climate change negotiations,” said Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Secretary of ECA.
 
Mr. Abdoulie added, “to assist the CoDA Advisory Board with planning, we have brought several distinguished African intellectuals and policymakers to engage with it and share ideas on the way forward.” 
 
Mr. Abdoulie expressed his appreciation for PM Meles Zenawi who was a co-chair of GCA, for his contribution to the successful launch of this initiative. He also thanked Mr. Festus Mogae, the former President of Botswana, for agreeing to chair the CoDA Advisory Board.
 
 “The coalition being launched toady is an important platform to craft African solutions and African positions on global challenges. In this regard, CoDA will forge African consensus, reinforce the African voice in international policy debates, and ultimately crystallizes African positions. In today’s globalized economy, the challenge faced by African countries requires homegrown solutions, but these must necessarily be cast in the global architecture. They require strong international cooperation but also give strong voice for the continent.” stated, Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of African Development Bank,
 
Regarding the global economic crisis and possible solutions, Dr Kaberuka said in his speech, Africa faces many challenges and proposed priorities that the advisory board will consider as crucial. Key amongst them is Africa’s response to the global crisis and its impact. This requires rethinking of the role of the states and the importance of regulatory regimes of international banking systems and finical governance. It is critical that Africa’s voice be heard regarding the impact of the global crisis.
 
Finally, Dr. Kaberuka placed his high hopes on CoDA to serve as an agent and Africa-led platform for stimulating informed and inclusive dialogues.
 
According to CoDA chair, Mr. Festus Mogae, initial CoDA Advisory Board has eight members who are internationally renowned personalities. Furthermore, CoDA may have representatives in different African countries as needed. The head quarter of the CoDA will be in the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.

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Eden Habtamu Ezega News 

This article was written by Eden Habtamu reporting for Ezega.com from Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. She can be reached by email at News@Ezega.com. The article can be reprinted in full or in part elsewhere but only by giving full credit to Ezega.com. If reprinted on a website, we ask that you place this active link: Ezega Ethiopian News, pointing to http://www.Ezega.com.

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