A Specialized Agency of the African Union

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15 Mar, 2019

WE, participants in the 28thAnnual Board of Governors Meeting of the African Capacity Building Foundation(ACBF), comprising Governors representing Member States, Representatives of Multilateral and Bilateral Development Partners, Observers and Special Guests, meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon on 7 to 8 March 2019:

  1. Noting the increasing recognition by the African Heads of State and Government and African Citizensof the critical role of capacity development in Africa’s development process and ACBF’s continental leadership in the area;
  2. Expressing our satisfaction that this recognition, based on the significance of ACBF’s support to the development process at country, regional and continental levels, has led to the designation of the Foundation as Specialized Agency of the African Union for capacity development in January 2017 and to a Decision on a financial contribution of the African Union to ACBF in 2019;
  3. Aware that despite the achievements of ACBF and the real progress made in capacity development over years, capacity challenges, especially on the implementation front, continue to impede the development of many African countries;
  4. Noting the Heads of State and Government’s Decision to consolidate ACBF’s coordinating and technical assistance roles for capacity development interventions continent-wide, reiterate the continued relevance and centrality of capacity development as an enabler for growth;
  5. Enjoin ACBF to continue its interventions at country-level to enhance the capacity of public institutions to spur inclusive socio-economic development;
  6. Mindful of the necessity of a synergistic approach to development 

(i)            Applaud the partnership between the AU and ACBF leading to the organization of the Annual Meeting of the ACBF Board of Governors as part of the meetings of the Specialized Technical Committee on Finance, Monetary Affairs, Economic Planning and Integration which have been jointly organised with the African Union Commission (AUC). This cements the collaboration that ought to be encouraged between the AUC and ACBF being the Union’s specialised Agency on capacity development.

(ii)             Welcome the technical and knowledge support provided by the Foundation to the institutionalreforms of the African Union, to promoting regional integration and policy coherence at the AUC, as well as in operationalization of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA);

(iii)           Mandate ACBF to lead, coordinate and set priorities relating to capacity development initiativeson the continent, asserting itself as a recognised leader and expert in this field;

(iv)            Welcome the consistent thought leadership provided by the Foundation through initiativesincluding the Lesson Notes on Capacity Development, flagship publications such as the African Capacity Report and African Governance Outlook, as well as support provided to strengthening of Think Tanks across the continent through initiatives such as the Think Tank Summit;

(v)             Recognize the critical interventions led by ACBF over the years to build institutional capacitiesrequired for Africa’s structural transformation, and commit to ensuring that the Foundation remains adequately resourced to sustainably coordinate capacity development initiatives on the continent;

(vi)            Encourage ACBF to take the necessary steps to ensure that implementation capacities at anational, regional and continental levels, are geared towards Africa’s productive transformation, drawing on lessons from successful implementation of past development blueprints;

(vii)         Call on ACBF to support countries so they can effectively diversify and industrialise by helpingthem create the right strategies and policy-mix for massive industrialization; make critical infrastructure (like energy and transportation) and technical skills investments (like engineering, science, technology and innovation) to unleash industrial capacity; support creation of an enabling business environment to attract domestic and foreign investment; mobilize internal and external support needed for sustainable development ; and develop the requisite transformative leadership at all levels that will set the right vision and tone while taking action to make things happen.

(viii)       Call on ACBF to institute measures for building social capital and strengthening networks thatembrace political leaders, traditional leaders, public sector managers, the media, civil society organisations and trade unions, academic institutions and think tanks, professional standards organisations, business associations and religious bodies;

(ix)           Call onACBF’sAfrican Member States to honour their membership contributions in a timelymanner to justify continued support from international development partners and encourage all African countries to increase their ownership of ACBF by supporting the implementation of the Decision made by the 32th Summit on a contribution of the African Union to the funding of ACBF;

(x)             Call on global development partners to choose a coordinated approach to capacity developmentin Africa by investing in priority areas through ACBF

(xi)           Considering the huge needs for capacity development in Africa, Ministers request continuingsupport to ACBF from the WB, building on the success of the partnership between the two Institutions to date, and to that end urge high level representation at the forthcoming meeting with the WB.

(xii)         Call on the AU to sustain its contribution to ACBF and grow it to a level that would complementthe contribution of individual member states.

(xiii)       Look forward to the next meeting of the Board of Governors, scheduled for March 2020.


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