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ACBF champions human and institutional capacity development in Africa

09 Dec, 2014

ACBF has been instrumental in putting capacity at the heart of Africa’s development agenda and demonstrated that building capacity makes economic sense. As a result, capacity building has become a transversal priority in the development strategies of most African countries today. The Foundation has championed the building of human and institutional capacity in the public sector and for non-state actors, including media and civil society and African regional and subregional organizations. 

In particular, the Foundation has been involved in building capacity for evidence-based policy making and development planning, debt management programmes and budgeting and macroeconomic management.  Also, it has significantly contributed in building the capacity of non-state actors to engage in the design, implementation and monitoring of development policy. The Foundation further supports the media and civil society’s participation in the policy value-chain.

In its effort to enhance effective policy formulation and management, ACBF has invested significantly in strengthening the capacities of African policy institutes/think-tanks and universities. The Foundation has also created dialogue spaces for citizen engagement aimed at bolstering ownership and commitment to national policies and programs at the country level via its Policy Institutes Committee – a network of think-tanks.

ACBF has developed a number of capacity building toolkits such as its results measurement frameworks, country capacity profiles, country policy institutional assessment.  Since 2011, ACBF has published the Africa Capacity Indicators Report, which measures and empirically assesses capacity in relation to the Africa’s development agenda.

Last but not least, the Foundation’s support to statistical capacity building is intended to improve measurement and evaluation capacity. 

At the regional level, ACBF provides capacity building support to the African Union Commission and implements a successful partnership with most of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs) (COMESA, EAC, ECCAS, ECOWAS and SADC) either through capacity building of their Secretariats or Parliamentary Forums or in specific areas such as trade negotiation and regional integration.  In like manner, ACBF provided support to the formulation and implementation of key African initiatives, such as the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM).

ACBF's 24-year investment in capacity development has yielded many results...

  • 35 think tanks created or strengthened; 15 ranked among top performers in Africa, including the Economic Policy Analysis Unit for ECOWAS and other RECs.
  • 3000 middle-level managers trained in ACBF-created Public Sector Management Training Program (PSMTP) an initiative tailored to equip African countries with a critical mass of public sector managers with the requisite skills and capabilities to advance development. 
  • Scores of leaders of African Universities trained as the Foundation has also supported the Association of African Universities to train the leaders of Africa’s higher education institutions.
  • An online repository of thesis/research papers from all over the continent established.
  • Developed African Capacity Profiles and indicators and country capacity strategies.

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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
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