Capacity development is a priority for African governments to deliver development results, impact and develop the leadership needed for the momentum of change the continent faces with emerging challenges
The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the Government of the Republic of Namibia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding confirming Namibia as the 37th African member to the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF). The other 36 African members comprise Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, The Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. These member countries, are represented by their Ministers of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, make up the Board of Governors, the highest policymaking body of the ACBF, together with 4 multilateral agencies and 12 Bi-lateral partners. The ACBF has a strategic MoU with the African Union which currently serves as an Honorary Member.
As a member of the Foundation, Namibia joins the highest decision making body of the Foundation, the Board of Governors. This body defines the main strategic orientation of the Foundation in terms of capacity development and also supports its resource mobilisation efforts. ACBF currently has 127 active projects and programs in 45 African countries. In Namibia, the Foundation has since 1994, invested more than USD13 million in national and regional projects and programs. The projects include, the Namibia University of Namibia Master’s Program in Public Policy and Administration (UNAM-MPPA), Namibia Performance Management System Project (NPMSP), Namibia Economic Policy Research Unit (NEPRU), SADC Parliamentary Forum (SADC PF) and the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).
Speaking in Windhoek, at the signing ceremony of the Agreement, Dr. Frannie Léautier, ACBF Executive Secretary emphasized how the membership agreement would scale up capacity development in Namibia and the areas that ACBF may assist the country in developing. “ACBF as a pan African institution is an effective platform for African governments and non-state actors to convene to deal with a myriad of development challenges and opportunities Africa faces. For Namibia, there are many capacity development prospects including that of developing leadership to nurture and sustain innovation, the repositioning of Higher Learning Institutions (HEIs) to contribute to the development of skilled people ready for the labour market, to organize implementation for the dynamic change that Namibia faces with the emerging challenges of climate change and other external shocks. Increase in the African membership is a sure sign that capacity is central to the discourse and strategy of poverty reduction on the continent and indeed an increase in ownership of ACBF.”
Signing on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Namibia, Honourable Tom Alweendo, Director General of the National Planning Commission stated that, “Capacity issues will continue to challenge us and we will always need to build capacity. The signing of the Agreement goes back as far as Namibia’s independence and today is the formalising of the process. Capacity development needs of Namibia are not only about money but by virtue are also about providing more room for networking and the ability to share lessons. Therefore Namibia’s membership to the ACBF is an added benefit to think collectively as a continent and the country will fulfill its obligations towards being a member both on the strategic level and on the level of mobilising of resources.