African countries should invest more in building the capacity of their personnel in other to translate policies into actions that will transform the living condition of the continent’s close to one billion people, according to a Senior Partnership Officer of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), Dr. Gibson Guvheya.
He said the dearth of experienced, well trained, highly motivated and skilled manpower is affecting the development of the countries, stressing however that ACBF would not relent in its efforts to help build the capacity of African nations.
“What we have done is to strengthen the capacity of key actors in ministry of Agriculture, allied public institutions, farmers associations, fertilizer companies, African policy analysis and research institutions,” he told PANA in an exclusive interview at the just-concluded Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP) Partnership Platform Meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.
”We also give support to small farmers focusing on harnessing capacity building, leveraging support with Regional Economic Commissions (REC). In addition, we are strengthening capacity in different segments, including professionals in public, private, civil society and media organizations, among others,” he said.
Speaking further, the ACBF official said: “We have also come out with the Africa Capacity Indicators Report for 2012, which is the only one of its type that really documents and measure capacities for 42 countries in different cluster and sub-Saharan African indices, to be able to benchmarks and track capacity over time for people to measure the impact or the result of their intervention in capacity building and also to be able to measure the effects of external shocks such as the political cycle, among others.”
In the report, the ACBF said many countries need to do more in terms of investing in agriculture and capacity building, but noted the progress being made by countries just coming out of conflict situation.
According to Guvheya, ”surprisingly countries just emerging from conflicts, i.e. Central African Republic, Liberia and Sierra Leone, they have actually scored very well in terms of capacity for agriculture transformation vis-a-vis countries which are more stable and have been reforming for some time, and this we suspect is the result of large scale of agricultural cultivation in these countries”.
He said the organization seeks to promote knowledge sharing and to channel skills, experience as well as necessary capacity for economic growth that will change the living condition of the people in Africa.
Established in 1991 and based in Harare, Zimbabwe, ACBF currently has 37 African countries as members, and has operational footprints in 45 sub-Saharan African countries.
Since inception, according to Guvheya, ACBF has disbursed over US$400 million for capacity development projects across Africa.
ACBF is being funded by three multilateral institutions – the World Bank, African Development Bank (AfDB) and the UN Development Programme (UNDP).