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Africa needs a skills revolution, say heads of the AU Commission and ACBF

Addis Ababa
02 Jul, 2017

Addis Ababa, 2 July 2017 (ACBF) –  The Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) – H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat and the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation – Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie say their institutions will work together to launch an African skills revolution, which is  indispensable for the transformation the continent seeks to achieve. Both personalities came to this conclusion in a recent meeting  held at the AUC headquarters in the Ethiopian capaital Addis  Ababa, in prelude to ongoing African Union statutory sessions.

During this first  official ecounter between the two personalities, the Head of the AUC was lucid about the indispensable role of capacity development in the ongoing reform process of the AU.

“We need the appropriate capacity, to make the required progress on this vital issue for the Union,” H.E Faki Mahamat told the ACBF Head, as he requested the Foundation to to play a key role in helping move the reform process forward both at the level of the African Union and its Commission.

The AUC Chair acknowledged the tremendous work that ACBF is doing on the continent  and re-echoed the centrality of capacity development in the context of implementing Agenda 2063 for Africa’s transformation.

Both heads of institutions agreed that Africa had no choice at this point than to robustly pursue its transformation agenda. In this regard, they agreed  to work together to launch a skills revolution program involving especially the continent’s vibrant youth.

Africa’s young people are the main attributes of the continent’s demographic dividend which is the central theme of the African Union Asssemby of Heads of State and Government from 3 to 4 July 2017.  The concept refers  to the unique advantage the continent now has to boost economic productivity due to the high numbers of its potential working force, mostly made up of young people.

H.E. Faki Mahamat and Prof. Nnadozie were clear that considerable resources were required to pursue the skills revolution and wider programs for human and institutional capacity development in Africa. To this end, their organizations would join forces for resource mobilization efforts with both traditional partners and relatively newer partners such as China.

The meeting took place within a new context of relations between the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)  and the African Union Commission (AUC), following  the endorsement of the Foundation by the continent’s leaders as the Specialized Agency of the African Union for Capacity Development.  It provided an opportunity for the Head of ACBF to recall highlights of fruitful working relations between the Foundation and the Commission for more than 25 years. The partnership has seen ACBF provide funding  and strategic support for enhancing  capacity development to support AUC and AU programs.  For instance, ACBF has played a key role in carrying out studies and providing analysis on the capacity imperatives for implementing Agenda 2063 and has actively supported developments within a broad coordination mechanism for Africa’s transformation agenda involving the AUC and development partners such as the Regional Economic Communities, the African Development Bank, the UN Economic Commission for Africa and UNDP.


For more information, please contact:

Abel Akara Ticha – Senior Communication Officer 
The African Capacity Building Foundation
Harare, Zimbabwe

Addis Ababa mobile during the AU meetings: +251 944075465
+263 7+263-4 304663, 304622, 332002, 332014; Ext. 279

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:

Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta – Minister of Finance - Ghana
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