A strategic approach prioritizing areas of capacity challenges that can unlock potential for the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 is key to the success of the continent’s development blueprint, said African experts meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, on Thursday.
The experts were taking part in a high level panel discussion held at the United Nations Conference Center by the African Capacity Building Foundation on the theme, “Capacity Imperatives for the African Union Agenda 2063”.
They agreed on the need for Africa to ‘revolutionize’ its approach to addressing the capacity gaps in the continent and come up with practical interventions, which are adapted to capacity imperatives and Africa’s plans for structural transformation.
It was also important that lessons from the past - in terms of capacity dimension and capacity development - be learned and that a new mindset toward development be developed as a result, they said.
“For a long time, African countries have invested time and resources to establish the pre-conditions of development and by doing so, focused on what was not working rather than what could have been working,” said Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, ACBF’s Executive Secretary. “Now we need to find out what is working, start from what is working and build from what is working and see how we can develop despite the daunting challenges Africa faces.”
The experts also agree that Agenda 2063 will be a success if it is owned and domesticated by Africans and if they work towards achieving its goals. “There has been a lack of confidence among some Africans in their capacity to develop the continent. However, development of Africa through partnership and a concerted effort can be achieved,” said Prof. Nnadozie.
Other questions that were discussed by the participants were domestic resource mobilization, the importance of gender equality and youth, knowledge and skills and maintaining a good coordination of efforts by various capacity building institutions across Africa.
Agenda 2063 is an indigenous strategic framework for Africa’s transformation over the next 50 years anchored in inclusive growth and sustainable development. It is a vision and call to action to fulfill African aspirations and the AU Vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” It calls on all Africans, policy makers at all levels, business, religious, community, women and youth leaders, ordinary citizens to act in concert with determination and muster the needed resolve to confront the challenges facing Africa.