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Capacity building seen as critical for Africa's transformation

By LUCIE MORANGI | chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2016-05-03 23:07

Africa needs to urgently develop its ability to achieve expected structural transformation, according to Emannuel Nnadozie, executive secretary of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF).

Nnadozie said that despite Africa recording significant socio-economic growth during the last decade, capacity remains the missing link in achieving development agendas.

He made his remarks in his opening address on Tuesday in Harare, Zimbabwe, where more than 300 delegates are gathered for three days to celebrate the pan-African training institution’s 25th anniversary. It is the third capacity-development forum since the inception of ACBF in 2001.

Under the theme Developing Capacity for Africa's Economic and Social Transformation, the meeting has brought together senior government officials, think tanks and scholars to discuss how the continent can quickly bridge its human development gap to achieve goals collectively agreed upon by African states under Agenda 2063. The agenda is a blueprint for transformative growth that aims at developing an integrated, inclusive and robust economies, and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that were adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015.

"What our continent needs is to transform its economies to create wealth and jobs, significantly reduce poverty, minimize all types of inequalities, strengthen productive capacities, enhance social conditions of its people and achieve sustainable development," said Nnadozie.

He said the foundation has developed an assessment of the critical technical skills required for the flagship programs under the first 10-year implementation plan of Agenda 2063.

In agriculture, Africa's mainstay, the continent has a projected gap of 1.6 million scientists and researchers. But according to ACBF, it needs 1.9 million researchers by 2023. It should aim for 3.6 million water and sanitation engineers and needs 854,000 more engineers to its current projected gap of 7.4 million.

"The gaps in terms of number of experts, engineers, researchers and scientists needed to implement the various projects and programs under the Agenda 2063 10-year plan is an indication of the challenges that still remain in the continent," said Nnadozie.

According to Willard Manungo, Zimbabwe’s secretary for finance and economic development, Africa is shaking off the perception of hopelessness and developing its capacity to inspire socio-economic and political transformation.

"We want to transform the huge investment made by governments into job creation especially for our youths and women," he said. "It is no longer business as usual."

The first capacity-development forum was in Mali in 2001 and the second one was in Mozambique in 2007.

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