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Accolades, knocks as ACBF clocks 25

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Dr Shehu Misheu

Dr Shehu Misheu

It was stock taking yesterday in Harare, Zimbabwe, as African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) marked its 25th anniversary.

Speakers agreed that the foundation has come a long way, but cautioned that it was not yet celebration time, as there were still many huddles to cross.

Representative of ACBF Executive Board, Dr Shehu Misheu, said the foundation has come a long way and it’s about time, “like every adult
that it leaves the parents’ care and stand on his own.”

The speaker cautioned leaders on the use of languages capable of misrepresenting its goal.

He also warned against “The penchant of saying only what the developmental partners want to hear.

Another contributor, drawing analogy from a plane about to crash, offered said, “Before you start helping someone else in putting the mask on, you must first put on yours.”

However, they all seem to agree those 25 years of the foundation has, indeed been very remarkable one. They also pointed out that
what is missing in the foundation is not the nomenclature, but commitment to implementation and compliance.

They tasked partners on the need to ensure that the capacity being sort, is not one capable of promoting inequality in access to social amenities, tearing down social fabric and promoting non-inclusive economic growth.

Zimbabwe’s acting President, Dr Phelekezela Mphoko, who was at the special guest of honour at the event said, “I am excited that ACBF has become a very successful African story; this is 25 years of remarkable growth and unquantifiable contribution to Africa.”

In attendance were, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, ACBF Governor for Zimbabwe, Patrick Chinamasa, Commissioner for Economic Affairs for the African Union Commission, Dr Mothae Maruping, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors, Goodall Gondwe and Executive Secretary of the ACBF Prof Emmanuel Nnadozie.

Others were Practice Manager, Governance Global Practice, World Bank, Dr Renaud Seligmann, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa, Lebogang Motlana, Former ACBF Executive Secretary, Dr Soumana Sako and developmental and economic experts.

Continental bodies have recognised ACBF, as a knowledge and capacity building’ provider of choice. It is also seen as having unique knowledge of Africa’s capacity building

According to its executive secretary, the ACBF in a quarter century, has developed a strong network of think tanks and collaborated with universities, governments, and civil society.

He noted that this might have put the foundation in a unique position with strong coordination capabilities, a potentially wide delivery network, and the influence to leverage on support.

Besides the strong value for money it provides, ACBF’s unique profile and strengths also highlight its value proposition, leading to 25 years of experience in supporting and coordinating capacity development in Africa.

There is, however, a consensus that for the ACBF to accomplish expected transformative objectives, countries need to pay attention to capacity development and allocate resources accordingly.

The foundation also needs to be fully supported politically and financially by African governments. Equally, partners especially the non-traditional ones, need to recognise that the continental capacity needs are enormous and re-inventing the wheel will be retrogressive.

He stressed that the task of strengthening institutional and human capacities’ still remains even more relevant, especially as the Continent witnesses new challenges with the implementation of Agenda 2063 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).


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