ACBF’s recommendations on risks and opportunities relating to the implementation of the AU Agenda 2063 were incorporated into a resolution taken at the African Union Executive Council Ministerial Retreat. The ACBF’s Executive Secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie highlighted the risks and opportunities of Agenda 2063 at the Retreat on 10th June, 2015. The inclusion of ACBF’s recommendations in the AU Resolution is a clear indication of the rising awareness, among African leaders, of the importance of capacity as a development enabler.
The Resolution, which was adopted at the end of the Summit, acknowledged that implementing Agenda 2063 could be hindered by a lack of capacity. It noted the need for greater clarity on the roles and responsibility of Continental and Regional Institutions in the implementation of the development blueprint; and also recognized that there was need for measure that enhances change in the mind-set through education and knowledge acquisition.
Another ACBF recommendation to go into the resolution relates to the need for the AU Ten – Year Implementation Plan to be aligned with existing Continental Frameworks and national visions. The session stressed the importance of inclusivity, particularly the involvement of women and the youth and the taking on board of the issues of Small Island States as well as the need to strengthen ownership and domestication of the Vision by Member States and Regional Institutions.
In the Resolution, participants emphasized the importance for member states to establish a harmonised mechanism to ensure that higher education in the continent is compatible, comparable with acceptability and clear recognition of credentials that will facilitate transferability of knowledge, skills and expertise. The mechanism should also ensure women and the youth are empowered and their sustained growth in knowledge acquisition encouraged.
Following the discussion on the presentation, the Retreat further agreed that the AUC should continue to engage in actions necessary towards the expeditious finalization of the capacity assessment work, including the important level for Member States towards a consolidation Capacity Assessment Document and a Capacity Development Plan; highlighting critical skills and training required as well as arrangements to involve Universities and the role of the youth and women; for the consideration at the next Summit in January 2016.
The Resolution called for ACBF and other institutions to continue providing necessary support on capacity building dimensions of Agenda 2063.
Other key observations and recommendations included in the Retreat’s final document were that risk management strategies must be employed to curb threats from overshadowing successes. Also, that there was still room for further improvement on Africa’s significant effort in building human and institutional capacity. There was need to enhance capacities in science and technology, engineering and technical skills which are essential for the industrialization of the continent, as well as develop and enforce policies to retain trained professionals thus preventing the brain drain and ensuring retention of technical skills.
The AUC’s current institutional architecture was also discussed in ACBF’s presentation and it was agreed that it be urgently reviewed to better align it to the content and spirit of Agenda 2063. The Commission’s working systems and approaches also needed to be improved and streamlined, with greater emphasis on decentralization of responsibilities for speedy actions and results.