Abishy Mweemba from Zambia, one of the ACBF success stories in recent years, has shown how important capacity building can add value to an individual’s life and a nation’s future.
Awarded an ACBF scholarship in 2015 to study for a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy Management at the University of Zambia, Mweemba, who graduated on 24 January 2017, says the acquisition of the degree has given him insightful skills and management proficiency that have helped in the execution of Zambia’s national economic and development agenda.
“Your invaluable support during the tenure of my studies will always be remembered and appreciated,” he wrote to ACBF, thanking the Foundation for funding his studies.
Mweemba was given the scholarship for the 2015-16 academic year. “Since graduating,” he says, “the knowledge and skills I obtained from the programme have played an important role in my career and contribution to the development of my country, Zambia.”
It had been his long-held dream to contribute effectively to economic policy formulation, implementation and management in Zambia, and the Master’s in Economic Policy Management degree he acquired has enabled him to achieve his dream.
“Immediately after completion of my studies,” he says, “I had the privilege of putting my newly obtained skills to practice by spearheading the formulation and successful launch of a District Education Sector Strategic Plan for Sinazongwe District where I was a Planner in the Ministry of Education.
“The skills I obtained in one of the core courses in my Masters Studies - Strategic Planning and Management - easily enabled me to see through the successful crafting of the Strategic Plan and Communication Plan for the Sinazongwe District project.”
The Master’s studies, he adds, gave him hands-on specialised exposure and strengthened his academic, professional, and management knowledge-base.
After graduating, he was employed as a core member of the Planning Department of the newly-created Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, where he was later appointed as Acting Parliamentary Liaison Officer due to the core competencies his Director of Planning had identified in him.
“I was easily able to analyse proposed policies for the nation, and played a key role in the formulation of the nation’s Seventh National Development Plan,” he told ACBF in a letter.
“Having served four months in the Ministry of National Guidance and Religious Affairs, I applied for a position in the Zambia Revenue Authority where I was offered a position in 2017. I largely attribute this success to the Masters Studies and qualifications I obtained.”
He hopes ACBF will continue to support economic policy management in Africa by helping other scholars and young professionals to enrich their economic policy management skills through scholarships for further studies as was offered to him.
“I believe a strong academic foundation lies at the core of organizational and national strategy, systems, structure, competence and efficiency,” Mweemba says. “And the academic foundation I obtained by reading for the Master of Arts in Economic Policy Management will, in the future, foster leadership skills in me and help push the nation forward.”
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Having spearheaded and robustly coordinated capacity development programs worth over 700 million US dollars across 45 countries and 8 regional economic communities (RECs) in Africa since 1991, ACBF has gathered the requisite experience that makes it the go-to institution for expert knowledge and human resources to advise and support African countries, regional economic communities and institutions on decisive steps to take to develop the practical skills urgently required for the continent’s economic transformation.
Evidence from our cutting-edge work (constituting hundreds of knowledge publications) and the work of several partners show that Africa's development efforts are being hobbled by severe capacity deficits often in the form of shortage of critical skills, deficits in leadership, inhibiting mindsets and weak institutions. The continent’s practical skills shortage is acute in key areas such as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Agriculture.
At ACBF, we will continue using our unmatched track record in managing financial facilities for development, our vast knowledge gathering experience thanks to the exceptional skills mix of our core staff as well as our strong strategic partnerships and networks to help countries and institutions identify their capacity needs, advise them on how to plug these capacity weaknesses and on where to find the knowledge and resources to develop the requisite capacity resources, effectively use them and retain them to achieve their short and long-term development objectives.
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