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Capacity – the critical enabler for Agenda 2063

Johannesburg, South Africa
10 Jun, 2015

As the African Union Commission (AUC) prepares to implement the first phase of its Agenda 2063 through the 10-year strategic plan, capacity will be a critical enabler for the realization of Africa’s development blueprint, said the Executive Secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie during a presentation yesterday at the Executive Council Ministerial retereat held in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Prof. Nnadozie was presenting the preliminary findings of a study that the AUC had mandated ACBF to undertake on the capacity imperatives, division of roles and risks and opportunities for Agenda 2063. “Capacity in all its forms and dimensions has often been the mother of all missing links in the continent’s development efforts.  The ACBF’s role is to ensure that the continent has the capacity to implement the 2063 ten year plan,” said Prof. Nnadozie. “We have looked at the capacity dimensions as well as the risks that could inhibit the implementation of the ten-year plan.”

The preliminary findings of ACBF’s study show that enhanced capacity is needed for the 3 key dimensions of Agenda 2063, namely: delivering on flagship projects – mainly infrastructure – and special development initiatives and activities; a transformative agenda involving changing mindset and rebuilding self-confidence and the capacity to anticipate exigencies and build scenario for the future.

Professor Nnadozie added, “Africa has made significant effort in building human, institutional and organisational capacity but there is room for further improvements. The continent needs to step up capacities in science and technology, engineering and technical skills which are essential for the industrialization of the continent. The continent also needs to develop and enforce policies to retain trained professionals thus preventing the brain drain and ensuring retention of technical skills.”

ACBF’s study also recommended that the AUC’s current institutional architecture be urgently reviewed to better align it  to the content and spirit of Agenda 2063. The Commission’s working systems and approaches also need to be improved and streamlined, with greater emphasis on decentralization of responsibilities for speedy actions and results. 

Although there are many benefits related to Agenda 2063 risks also exist. Risk management strategies must be employed to curb threats from overshadowing successes. Among the risks and threats identified by ACBF’s study are: rising levels of poverty and unemployment, rising levels of urbanization, growing population of unskilled youth, persistence of disease pandemics, weak and fragile states, resurgence of insecurity and new conflicts, externally-defined conditionalities and declining terms of trade.

ACBF has been working closely with the AUC and was mandated by its Chairperson to undertake the study on the capacity imperatives for the implementation of Agenda 2063.

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Capacity Imperatives for the African Union Agenda 2063

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