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Experts call for strategic approach to capacity building

Addis Ababa
26 Mar, 2015

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.

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