The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic continues to scourge throughout the globe, crippling economies, rendering thousands jobless and likely to cause the first increase in global poverty since 1988. In Africa, the total number of COVID-19 cases continue to rise gradually while the impact of the pandemic remains uncertain.
A United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) report, estimates up to 3.3 million deaths and 1.2 billion infections under a worst-case scenario with no interventions against the virus in Africa. An African Union study estimates 20million jobs in both the formal and informal sectors, to be at risk on the continent. African Union researchers project a drop of at least 35% of exports and imports from 2019 levels, incurring a loss in the value of trade of around $270 billion. This at a time when the fight against the virus' spread will lead to an increase in public spending of at least $130 billion.
In an effort to contribute to the fight against the coronavirus pandemic, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Union’s specialised agency for capacity development is convening an indaba with development partners, government officials, academics and health officials in a bid to identify priority programs in capacity development and the partnerships and institutional arrangements required to effectively respond to COVID-19 and post COVID-19 challenges.
The ACBF-led virtual meeting will be held on the 19th of May 2020 with the following specific objectives;
- To propose capacity development programs to strengthen national systems for public health preparedness and to build resilience for Africa’s economy
- To identify priority program capacity development areas ACBF should focus on to effectively respond to COVID-19 and post COVID-19 challenges
- To explore the partnerships and institutional arrangements required to unlock the resources to effectively co-ordinate capacity development interventions during and after COVID-19.
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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.