A Specialized Agency of the African Union

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African Union designates a Specialized Agency on Capacity Development

Addis Ababa
03 Jul, 2017

Addis Ababa, 3 July 2017 (ACBF) –  African leaders and delegates attending the 29th Session of the Assembly of the  African Union (AU) have  learnt that efforts to place capacity building at the center of development management in Africa have been bolstered following the formal endorsement of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development.

The endorsement which has become official following the Resolutions   of the 28th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union held in January 2017, is steel proof of the appreciation by African Union member States of the unparalleled position of the African Capacity Building Foundation as the hub of expert knowledge and human resources on capacity development in Africa. This is based on 26 years of solid work done by the Foundation to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the key institutions and the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.

 “We do accept with humility, this endorsement of the African Union which is a clear pointer to the fact that for the past 26 years, ACBF has undoubtedly proved, through its work, to be Africa’s knowledge and capacity building service provider of choice,” said ACBF’s Executive Secretary Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie.

“In over two decades, we have robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and helped to set up over 40 reliable policy think thanks that do an indispensable job of advising African governments on the policies to implement to drive development through capacity development.

“Our production of several hundred evidence-based knowledge products on Africa’s capacity needs, and on practical trajectories to take in developing, using and retaining capacities honed in Africa, have proved to be fundamental and we have made a solid promise to deliver even more for the continent in our 2017-2021 Business Strategy. This strategy is based on four pillars, namely: enabling the effective delivery of continental development priorities, supporting countries to achieve tangible development results, enhancing private sector and civil society to contribute to sustainable development and leveraging knowledge and learning to increase development effectiveness.”

The African Capacity Building Foundation will therefore capitalize on this status to better respond to the urgent capacity needs of African countries, the African Union Commission and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) especially as they implement Agenda 2063 in tandem with the global Sustainable Development Goals. ACBF has always been a strong advocate of the African Union and the RECs to get well equipped to leverage the continental Agenda especially through its evidence-backed recommendations in study reports on Capacity development imperatives for Agenda 2063 as well as in the  ‘Survey of the Capacity Needs of Africa’s Regional Economic Communities and Strategies for Addressing Them.’

ACBF now falls within the category of African Union bodies known as  ‘Specialized Agency Set Up by Member States’. This is a type of agency set up voluntarily by Heads of African Union Member States outside the AU structure, managerial and budgetary control with mandate to examine and address a specific issue, goal or objective falling under the general mandate of the African Union. In this case, the specific mandate of the ACBF is to provide capacity development support  for the optimal implementation of the AU’s Agencda 2063 and t he SDGs.  This status therefore provides the Foundation with an opportunity deepen its working relations with all member States of the African Union,  the relevant structures of the African Union Commission as well as African institutions such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), Afreximbank, UN Economic Commission for Africa  (ECA) as well as multilateral partners such as the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank, for the benefit of the continent.


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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