Harare, 20 Dec. 2017 (ACBF) – A landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) has been signed by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and the NEPAD Planning and Coordination Agency (widely referred to as the NEPAD Agency) to ramp-up the implementation of Africa’s transformation mega plan known as Agenda 2063 and leverage the UN’s Agenda 2030 for the continent’s development.
Signed on 20 December 2017 at the ACBF headquarters in Harare, Zimbabwe, by the Executive Secretary of ACBF – Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie, and the Chief Executive Officer of the NEPAD Agency – Dr Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, the MoU focuses on several areas of cooperation that will lay emphasis on continental and sub-regional approaches to speed up the implementation of development plans across the African Union’s 55 member-states.
Priority areas of mutual focus include (i) the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of capacity development priorities embedded in the 1st 10-Year Plan of Agenda 2063 and Agenda 2030; (ii) the joint implementation of AU/NEPAD 2015 – 2025 Capacity Development Plan for Regional Economic Communities on Institutional Development for effective implementation of Regional Development Plans and Agenda 2063; (iii) the joint implementation of findings from ACBF’s assessment of RECs Capacity needs; (iv) partnership in the design and implementation of Critical Technical Skills (CTS) development programs at country and regional levels; (v) cooperation on the development and publication of ACBF’s flagship– Africa Capacity Report and other capacity development knowledge products particularly tools, guides and case studies in Africa’s priority areas of development; and (vi) a joint approach to mobilize resources for the implementation of the areas of collaboration identified.
“Being a co-designer of Agenda 2063 rightly places ACBF as a critical actor for its implementation and this is the fundamental reason for which we are here today” said Prof Mayaki to his host audience and the press.
“We are here to learn from ACBF through its trajectory in more than 40 African countries; we are here to learn from the assessments that ACBF has done across these countries and regions – highlighting the critical lessons that should be sharedwith other development actors on the continents such as NEPAD,” he said, noting that ACBF understands the dual aspects of institutional capacity development and citizen empowerment that are critical for implementing Africa’s development plans.
Cooperation between ACBF and NEPAD Agency in critical areas will speed up implementation of Africa’s long-term development agenda. To be practical about this, the MoU has an implementation roadmap from 2018 onward whereby each critical area of cooperation will lead to the implementation of a flagship program or project to benefit Africa.
Asked what place Africa’s youth will have in the ACBF-NEPAD Agency areas of cooperation, Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie said “Youth unemployment is the single most important challenge facing Africa today which, if not well managed, would turn the potential of the continent’s demographic dividend into a demographic crisis,” adding that the place of the youth in the joint programs of the partnership, will be cardinal. He said Africa’s structural transformation will be hinged on its industrialization which cannot happen without a skills transformation of the continent’s youth.
Apart from setting clearly defined targets of collaboration in capacity development for Africa’s transformation, both ACBF and NEPAD are looking for innovative ways to mobilize resources from inside and outside of Africa to leverage their joint programs.
Before the MOU signed today, ACBF and NEPAD Agency have closely collaborated in inititaves to accompany the African Union and its member-States towards the continent’ transformation since 2004. During this time, the Foundation has helped to:
- improve the delivery of the NEPAD Agency by strengthening its human capacity in core strategic management functions;
- enhance its organizational effectiveness through reviews of its structure, functions, systems and procedures, including support to the regional economic communities; and,
- attract qualified personnel for key administrative and management functions by contributing to the establishment of conditions conducive for retention of qualified professionals to ensure that the organization delivers results.
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ABOUT the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)
Having spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa since 1991, ACBF has gathered the requisite experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.
Evidence from our cutting-edge work (constituting hundreds of knowledge publications) and the work of several partners show that Africa's development efforts are being hobbled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, inhibiting mindsets and weak institutions. The continent’s practical skills shortage is acute in key areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture.
At ACBF, we will continue using our unmatched track record in managing financial facilities for development, our vast knowledge gathering experience thanks to the exceptional skills mix of our core staff as well as our strong strategic partnerships and networks to help countries and institutions identify their capacity needs, advise them on how to plug these capacity weaknesses and on where to find the knowledge and resources to develop the requisite capacity resources, effectively use them and retain them to achieve their short and long-term development objectives.
ACBF’s vision is an Africa capable of achieving its own development.
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