As the international community and Africa respectively embark on a post-2015 transformative development agenda and move toward the implementation of Agenda 2063, knowledge generation will increasingly become the key strategic resource for prosperity and sustainable development, said the African Capacity Building Foundation’s (ACBF) Executive Secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie during the opening of the 2015 Consultative Forum of ACBF Strategic Studies Group (SSG) network, held in Addis Ababa on 4 September.
“As we move forward, there is no doubt that there are many challenges on the road ahead but I am both hopeful and optimistic about the possibilities and opportunities, particularly the ability to harness the creative talents of the SSG members,” said Prof. Nnadozie. “To this end, the Foundation seeks to strengthen our collaboration in a way that enhances our ability to deliver capacity development results on the continent in a more practical, impactful and visible way.”
ACBF has restructured with the aim towards putting its knowledge generation and sharing function at the heart of the Foundation’s operations and sees the involvement of its SSG network as key to the success of such restructuring. “The relevance and strategic importance of this Group cannot be over-emphasized. ACBF is not only convinced of your technical, professional and practical expertise but also of your deep interest in development-related issues, in general, and capacity development challenges faced by African countries, in particular,” added Prof. Nnadozie.
He also said that ACBF’s operations - from projects/programs design to implementation and evaluation - were now being spearheaded by knowledge and that all knowledge products were action-oriented with policy recommendations and clear messages on the capacity imperatives of the issues being examined.
Since the last meeting of the SSG network held in Lusaka in March 2014, the Group’s guidance on the selection of themes for the strategic studies and critical review of the selected papers have helped ACBF to produce very useful knowledge products. “Seven studies have been completed and will very soon be published,” said Prof. Nnadozie.
Members of SSG have also contributed in reviewing ACBF-led studies on the “Internal and external risks associated with the implementation of AU Agenda 2063” and the “Agenda 2063 Capacity Needs Assessment and Preparation of Capacity Development Plan”. “Both studies are being finalized and I have no doubt that they will be extremely helpful for a successful implementation of the continental agenda,” added Prof. Nnadozie.
He said that the SSG network would help in producing strategic and very impactful knowledge products that will assist the continent in tackling some of their development challenges in a more practical way. Among the upcoming knowledge products are Country Reviews and the CPIA self-assessment studies conducted by ACBF-supported think tanks produced under the Africa Capacity Report (ACR) 2015, Policy Briefs drawn-out from the ACR 2015 targeting specific audiences as well as some of the country case studies developed as stand-alone knowledge products. “These will all need your support in reviewing and guidance on how best to have impact in their dissemination. We also look forward to your support towards ACR2016 and more collaborative research generally in the year 2016.” Prof. Nnadozie added.
The Strategic Studies Group (SSG) is an ACBF network of global development experts and practitioners made up of the ACBF Policy Institutes Committee (PIC), select development partners, and the ACBF-supported training programs and university partners. The SSG assists the Foundation in identifying key policy and emerging issues requiring the attention of the Foundation and its stakeholders. It also serves as a ‘review panel’ that shapes, examines and evaluates the high level studies undertaken by the Foundation.