Can global institutions work for Africa?

Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Liepollo Lebihang Pheko, Yao Graham and Clare Short to debate the future role of institutions like the Global Fund and Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative in Africa at the OpenForum

Richard Lee's picture


Strategic communications for WWF

May 8th, 2012

The early 2000s saw increasing support for the launch of global initiatives concerned with monitoring funds from the extractive industries (Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, EITI) and innovative financing (Global Fund To Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria) that promised to transform how funds for development were put to use.

But these institutions – despite evidence that they have helped to change the game – are experiencing growing pains as commitment from donors, governments and key partners waxes and wanes. Yet as inequality grows, figuring out how to make global institutions more accountable to Africans is now more important than ever.

On May 22, a high-level panel, including Dr Michel Kazatchkine, Clare Short, Yao Graham and Liepollo Pheko will discuss this critical theme in the second major plenary at the OpenForum on Money, Power and Sex: The Paradox of Unequal Growth. In particular, they will focus on a number of key questions:

  • Who funds the institutions being discussed?
  • What are the bases of the legitimacy of these institutions?
  • Whose agendas do these institutions serve? And how can these institutions more meaningfully engage with the interests of poor people, women, young people and marginalized communities? Can these institutions address inequality in any structural ways?
  • What/where are the movements and energies of organizations and individuals that are pushing to influence these institutions and how open are these institutions to being influenced?

The discussion will range beyond these topics. And if anyone wants to ask a question, send a tweet to and the best questions will be put to the panellists on the day.


Dr Michel Kazatchkine has announced that he is stepping down as Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria after five years in the post. Dr Kazatchkine has spent the past 25 years fighting AIDS as a leading physician, researcher, administrator, advocate, policy maker and diplomat. Prior to joining the Global Fund, Dr Kazatchkine was Professor of Immunology at Université René Descartes and Head of the Immunology Unit of the Georges Pompidou Hospital in Paris. Dr Kazatchkine has also served as Director of the National Agency for Research on AIDS in France, Chair of the World Health Organization’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Committee on HIV/AIDS, and as a member of the WHO’s Scientific and Technical Advisory Group on tuberculosis.

Clare Short is the Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) International Board. Ms Short was the UK Secretary of State for International Development (1997-2003). She was the first person to hold this position and played a key role in elevating the UK’s profile and budget for sustainable development and poverty elimination. In 2003, Ms Short resigned as Secretary of State over the Iraq war. The following year, she wrote An Honourable Deception? New Labour, Iraq, and the Misuse of Power. After nearly thirty years as a Member of Parliament, Ms Short stood down in 2010. Since 2006, Ms Short has been a member of the Advocacy Panel of Cities Alliance – an alliance of the World Bank, UN-HABITAT, local government and development partners committed to meeting the UN target to develop cities without slums. She is a member of the Advisory Committee of International Lawyers for Africa and a Trustee of Africa Humanitarian Action.

Yao Graham is the Coordinator of Third World Network-Africa, a pan-African research and advocacy organization based in Ghana. TWN-Africa works for economic and social equity within Africa and for an equitable place for Africa in the global order, focusing on international trade and investment, extractive resources, gender and economic policy and the role of international financial institutions. Yao has been an activist and writer on African development and global economic justice issues for more than 30 years. He was a member of the International Study Group appointed by the UNECA, which produced the report Minerals and Africa’s Development in 2011. Yao was also the founding editor of the Ghanaian newspaper Public Agenda and is currently the Africa Editor of the Review of African Political Economy. He holds a Ph.D. in Law from the University of Warwick, UK.

Liepollo Lebihang Pheko is a policy analyst, lecturer, social activist and development practitioner and has worked in the public and development sectors for twenty years. Pheko serves as Executive Director at a progressive research and advocacy think tank called the Trade Collective. Pheko writes a monthly online column and has contributed to books entitled From Slave Trade to Free Trade, Gender and Politics and Mobilising Social Justice in South Africa. Pheko is also a member of the Association of Women in Development, the board of the Business Women's Association, the steering committee of South African Women in Dialogue and the steering committee of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution.


Tawanda Mutasah is OSF Director of Programmes. He previously served as chair of the OSF Africa Advisory Board and as Executive Director of OSISA. He was admitted to the Bar in Zimbabwe in 1995. An international human rights award winner, Mutasah has previously worked on the international advocacy staff of Oxfam Great Britain, among other roles.

Anne Gathumbi is a programme manager with OSIEA and oversees the Health and Rights portfolio. Prior to joining OSIEA, Anne worked in Trocaire’s East Africa Regional Office on both human rights and development programmes. She has also worked at the Legal Resources Foundation, where she pioneered a community-based paralegal training programme to enhance justice for poor and marginalized communities. She was also a founding member and National Coordinator of the Coalition on Violence against women. She holds a Law degree from Nairobi University, a Masters in Business Administration and a post graduate diploma in community development.



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