Harare, 02 Jan 2017 (ACBF) – As an organization that enables individuals and institutions to ultimately improve the lives of Africans, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) says it will pursue bigger and better results in 2018 as it works towards an Africa capable of achieving its own development. The management and staff of the Foundation’s secretariat ended the year 2017 with a reinvigorating professional retreat, staff team-building exercise and an all-staff ‘town-garden,’ in Harare, during which they individually and collectively promised to work as a stronger, more efficient and more effective team, supporting the continent better than ever-before towards its transformation.
The commitment was taken to better deliver for Africa in accordance with the five service lines outlined in the ACBF Strategy for 2017-2021. These are: 1) the provision of knowledge Services, 2) the provision of Capacity Development Advisor Services, 3) undertaking Resources Mobilization for Capacity Development, 4) the provision of Innovation for Capacity Development services, and 5) carrying out Investments in Capacity Development and Program/Project management.
The service lines are hinged on four strategic pillars, which are: 1) Enabling effective delivery of continental development priorities; 2) Supporting countries to achieve tangible development results; 3) Enhancing private sector and civil society to contribute to sustainable development; and, 4) Leveraging knowledge and learning to increase development effectiveness. In view of ramping up its delivery in 2018 and beyond, the Foundation is adopting an internally-focused pillar on ACBF as a High Performing Institution.
ACBF’s staff are being guided in their resolve by Executive Secretary – Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie who received final directives on the day-to-day operations of the Foundation moving forward from ACBF’s Executive Board Headed by H.E. Erastus Mwencha in the early half of December 2017. The Executive Board’s directives had also been guided by recommendations of the Foundation’s Board of Governors Chaired by Hon Goodall Gondwe during the 26th Annual Meeting of the Board held in Accra, Ghana, from 4 to 5 September 2017.
Highlights of ACBF’s delivery in 2017 include (but are not limited to):
- the designation of ACBF as the AU’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development following 26 years of an unrivalled track-record in that domain in Africa;
- ACBF and AUC working to launch an African skills revolution program
- the launch of a capacity audit for implementing Gambia’s development program at the behest of President Adama Barrow who was full of praise for ACBF’s work across Africa;
- the retooling of about 30 Ghanaian civil servants to improve the country’s public finance accountability and a similar exercise carried out in Rwanda;
- the publication of several key policy-aiding reports including: the Africa Capacity Report 2017 (calling for the continent’s governments and other actors to reinforce the continent’s prospects for transformation by investing in the key catalyzers of science, technology and innovation – STI), a set of three detailed reports on the capacity imperatives for implementing Agenda 2063, the “Survey of the Capacity Needs of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities and Strategies for addressing them,” “Transforming Agribusiness, Trade and Leadership: A Capacity Needs Assessment,” and several high-quality occasional papers.
- the strengthening of good governance and budgetary oversight role of the parliament of Nigeria through the National Institute for Legislative Studies;
- More support to the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM) to enhance gender-responsive economic policy management and budgeting, as well as financial and economic management and for the dissemination of outputs on economic and financial governance issues in the West African sub region
- a successful and well-attended Africa 4th Think-Tank Summit in Abidjan in which stakeholders underscored the cardinal role played by think tanks to enhance Africa’s industrialization;
- a pledge from Liberia’s outgoing President H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to s support the Foundation in its quest for resources to help African governments build, retain and use critical skills on which the continent’s sustainable development will depend, after praising the Foundation on its achievements – especially the coming to fruition of the Empowering Women in Agriculture (EWA);
- Comoros’ adherence to the Foundation as its 40th member State alongside the launch of ACBF’s capacity needs assessment program for the country;
- the signing of landmark MoUs with Afreximbank (to jointly work on initiatives to support intra-African trade, mitigate specific country risks, better university curricular on trade finance and the financing of general capacity development initiatives), 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), and the African Alliance for Partnership of Michigan State University (to cooperate/collaborate in home-grown research and capacity building activities of mutual interest);
- In partnership with International IDEA, equiped members of the Pan African Parliament with an understanding of and skills in carrying out parliamentary oversight functions across Africa using the New Development Approach (NDA) to natural resource management
- the passing of a strict tobacco control law in Benin thanks to the persistence of the country's civil society supported by ACBF;
- the compulsory labeling of cigarette packs with messages on the dangers of smoking thanks to consistent effort by civil society groups many of whom were mentored through ACBF projects;
- the scooping of the ENI Award for Excellence in Energy Research in Africa (sometimes called ‘the Nobel Prize of Energy’) by ACBF’s postgrad engineering scholarship awardee – Ms. Blessing Ugwoke) who is now researching for her PhD on providing a template to governments to solve Africa’s rural electrification problems;
- the graduating of 12 more outstanding scientists and engineers sponsored by ACBF at the African University of Science and technology (AUST), bringing the number of African postgraduates (at both the Masters and PhD levels) trained with ACBF funding in these scarce-skills sectors to 69.
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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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