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Bridging the policy implementation gap…no easy feat

11 Feb, 2022

Africa is not short of innovative ideas and policy. Every year, across the continent, governments, pan-African agencies and businesses launch blueprints that reflect visions for growth.

However, what has lacked is the bridge between these policies and effective implementation.

The African Capacity Building Foundation, in extending its role as the continent’s think tank and  engine for capacity building, is the bridge that links ideas and implementation.

One way the Foundation is doing this, is by building the skills needed to turn ideas into reality. In its work, ACBF has found that building skills is not done at the point of implementation; it has to start right at the grassroots, going up.

To this end, the Foundation has invested millions of dollars of financial support to higher education institutions and non-degree training programmes.

The programmes under this support are not randomly selected. They are carefully targeted at the skills that are needed most in the fields of public policy, public sector management, and financial management and accountability. These are the skills needed by Member States in their institutions to help them put ideas in motion on the ground.

Among one of ACBF’s most successful bottom-up skills building programmes has been the Economic Policy Management (EPM) programme.

Under this programme, the Foundation worked with universities in Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Mozambique, Uganda and Zambia to offer the EPM. The results were visible. Of the auditors that took part, 40% were promoted immediately after their training.

Over 600 public and private sector executives, from 12 African countries, benefited from the human capacity development activities of the program.

The skills produced are in demand.

Over 90 percent of the program’s graduates work in the public sector. Almost all ministries in the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU) employ EPM graduates, as do international institutions, business intelligence practices, and the Presidency and Prime Ministry.

At country level, the Foundation cooperates with Member States to assess their specific skills needs. As States work towards their long-term economic goals, they are looking for skills to get the wheels turning on their National Development Plans and Strategies.

To assist, ACBF conducts capacity needs assessments and develops workable implementation strategies that are specific to the unique needs of each Member State.

Building the skills that Africa requires to bridge the gap between policy formulation and implementation, is an ongoing exercise that ACBF is happy to take on.

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