Abuja, 13 June 2017 (ACBF) – The African Capacity Building Foundation, the continent’s leading capacity development institution, has pledged to use its expertise to help regional economic communities (RECS) achieve their objective of integrating Africa and leveraging its sustainable development. According to the Executive Secretary of the Foundation, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, the RECS, if well capacitated, would be able to effectively coordinate the implementation of the first 10 years of the action plan of African Union’s Agenda 2063 and achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
At a just ended retreat for regional economic communities in Abuja, Prof. Nnadozie said ACBF’s assistance to the communities would be in collaboration with partners such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s Agency (NEPAD Agency) and the International Institute for Democratic and Electoral Assistance (International IDEA).
“The Foundation plans to scale-up on its regional economic training programs to cover such areas as regional integration, trade negotiation and domestic resource mobilization, amongst others,” he said.
He said ACBF has published knowledge products to meet the capacity needs of the communities. They include the 2016 “Survey of the Capacity Needs of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities and Strategies for Addressing Them” and the 2014 Africa Capacity Report (ACR), which focused on capacity imperatives for regional integration in Africa. Among other things, the 2016 Survey called for strengthening of the mandates of the executive secretaries and heads of Africa’s RECs to manage internal mechanisms and governance structures as well as for minimizing duplication of capacity building activities across the communities. Meanwhile, a major recommendation in the 2014 ACR report is that the RECs emulate the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in establishing a trust fund to which member states and development partners will contribute in order to enhance their internal capacities in resource planning, mobilization and utilization.
The Abuja retreat was organized by ACBF, International IDEA and ECOWAS, and was attended by representatives of most of the eight African Union-recognized RECs. The participants developed a draft Roadmap for RECs Capacity Building which will guide and govern the partnership of ACBF, International IDEA and the RECS towards working together to filling institutional, organizational and human capacity gaps to ensure their proactive contribution to the structural transformation and deeper Integration of the Continent. The draft Roadmap covers five main areas including the identification of joint Strategic priorities of RECs, IDEA AWA and ACBF, areas for programmatic, technical and substantive assistance, common institutional, organizational, human resource, knowledge learning and management programs, a Workplan and Statement of Declaration of Commitment to implement joint activities around the identified priorities as well as Joint Resource Mobilization Plan.
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About the African Capacity Building Foundation
Established in 1991, ACBF builds human and institutional capacity for good governance and economic development in Africa. To date the Foundation has empowered people in governments, parliaments, civil society, private sector and higher education institutions in more than 45 countries and 6 regional economic communities. ACBF supports capacity development across Africa through mobilization and leveraging of resources for capacity development; grants, investments and fund management; knowledge services; promoting innovation in capacity development and capacity development advisory services. The establishment of ACBF was in response to the severity of Africa’s capacity needs, and the challenges of investing in indigenous human capital and institutions in Africa. ACBF interventions are premised on four principles: the centrality of capacity to the development process in Africa; the critical role of a partnership and demand-driven approach in tackling capacity challenges; African ownership and leadership in the capacity development process; and a systematic, sequenced and coordinated approach to the capacity development process that pays attention to capacity retention and utilization. For further information go to: www.acbf-pact.org