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Africa's skill gap affecting economic growth

Nairobi, Kenya
14 Nov, 2014

Africa's skill gap is preventing the continent from achieving its optimum economic growth, a pan African think tank said on Thursday.

Visiting Executive Secretary of African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) Emmanuel Nnadozie told Xinhua in Nairobi that there is a shortage of human capacity in the areas required to accelerate economic growth.

"There is need to set up mechanisms to ensure tertiary institutions producing enough skilled personnel to meet growing demand," Nnadozie said.

He said that non utilization of available human resources is very common in Africa as a result of poor labor market structures.

"As a result there are a lot of graduates who are not gainfully employed," he said.

According to Nnadozie, political and social instability has contributed to brain drain in the continent.

"Many Africans are working in developed countries yet their home countries have a shortage of skilled personnel," he said. "This is partly because governments have failed to provide adequate opportunities to citizens to contribute to economic development."

Nnadozie added that Africa must develop despite the emerging challenges such as terrorism and disease outbreaks.

"We don't have to wait for optimum situations to develop because the continent can capitalize on the things that are working," he said. "The issues of development also require that nations pay attention to what other successful countries have done.”

The Harare-based ACBF is a nonprofit agency aiming to be the leading African institution in building sustainable capacity for good governance and economic transformation in Africa.

ACBF urged Africa to pursue industrialization in order to reduce dependence on agriculture and export of raw materials.

"We are committed to help governments design, implement development policies that will address challenges in terms of capacity required to reduce poverty," Nnadozie said.

The Pan African body will also commence helping the African Union Commission to assess the capacity needs necessary for the continent to achieve economic transformation.

Nnadozie said ACBF will also carry out a comprehensive needs assessment for some of Africa's regional economic bodies in order to assist them to develop strategies to overcome bottlenecks of integration.

Currently, 39 African states are members of the ACBF. The think tank has disbursed grants worth 500 million U.S. dollars since it was founded in 1991, out of which, Kenya has received 43.4 million dollars.

Source: Xinhua News Agency

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, former 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, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana