A Specialized Agency of the African Union

COVID-19 Corner                  Support Our Work

Home | What We Do | Success Stories | 'Without ACBF most African think tanks would not exist today “- expert

'Without ACBF most African think tanks would not exist today “- expert

04 Nov, 2015

Full transcript of HESPI's Dr Ali Abdi's recent interview with a jounalist in Kigali, Rwanda

The East African Community is a Regional Economic Community which comprises five countries, IGAD comprise eight countries, two of those countries happen to be also in the East African Community : Kenya and Uganda. Furthermore north we have Ethiopia, Sudan, South Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somali.

Most of the work we [The Horn Economic and Social Policy Institute -HESPI, Ethiopia] are doing focuses on regional integration issues, institution building, advocating better performance of economic management, policy formulation but not at a specific level. Most of the people think that the African Capacity Building Foundation [ACBF] only supports country specific  like programs like you have the [Institute of Policy Analysis and Research] - IPAR, ZIPAR … but there are a couple of regional institutes including our own - that is the focus. We will go a little bit more of what we do and how the African Capacity Building Foundation has been able to help us.

The African Capacity Building Foundation, as some of your listeners probably already know, has created a number of policy institutes in this continent. HESPI is one of the more recent institutes that have been working with the African Capacity Building Foundation.

First and foremost, had it not been for ACBF I don’t believe that many of the institutes in this continent would exist now. What they do is to take an idea or the formation of an institute from the ground up. They nurture those institutes; they incubate those institutes and provide a significant amount of technical assistance in the formation process.

One of the other advantages of working with the African Capacity Building Foundation, at least true in our case, is that more than the technical side they have provided financial support, primarily to do two things: (1) to help us achieve the programs and implement the objectives that we have set out through the sub region that we are working on, but more importantly what they have provided is institution building [2]. It’s only through the support of ACBF that we have been able to build up our research capacity, our research support. We may find a lot of other institutions who are willing to support specific objectives, specific programs but very few are willing to invest in institution building.

Finally, I think the Foundation ACBF has been very supportive in helping sort of holding the hand of the new institute in terms of systems, procedures, whether it’s is how to procure in a systematic manner which is cost effective, whether it’s a matter of giving financial records etc. So I might say that out of the 30 – 40 [top] institutes that exist in the continent of Africa, most of them would not exist and if they exist would not be as effective as they are now without the support and nurturing that they receive or have received from the African Capacity Building Foundation.

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