One billion people, one billion opportunities: AfDB approves its first Human Capital Strategy
The Board of Executive Directors of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) approved on May 28, 2014 in Tunis the AfDB’s first Human Capital Strategy (HCS). The strategy paves the way for Bank investments in areas such as education, skills development, health, science, technology, innovation, social protection, safety nets and youth employment.
Investing in one billion people in Africa is at the heart of this four-year strategy. This vision is to build skills and make the most efficient use of new technologies to improve competitiveness and create jobs. As the operational framework for the Bank’s newly approved ten-year strategy, the HCS will serve as backbone to support the Bank’s investments in all sectors of development.
“One billion people, one billion opportunities: Building Human Capital in Africa” is the result of a broad based consultation within and outside the Bank involving governments, private sector, NGOs, academia, and civil society.
While Africa is on the rise, the continent is faced with challenges of rapid economic growth, poverty, inequality and striking disadvantages for youth and women. Overcoming major problems such as low quality education, skills mismatch, poor service delivery, low productivity in the informal sector, unemployment and underemployment is critical to growth.
"This strategy signals the African Development Bank’s commitment to invest in Africa’s greatest asset – its people. Without quick and decisive action to invest in human capital, African countries risk depriving a generation from opportunities to develop their potential, escape poverty and support the continent on a path of inclusive growth and economic transformation”, said Dr. Agnes Soucat, AfDB’s Director for Human Development.
As part of the HCS, the Bank proposes a New Education Model in Africa (NEMA) which presents a radical shift from the brick and mortar approach to education to a model that supports critical thinking, the application of cutting-edge education technologies, and public-private partnerships (PPPs).
“The HCS operationally consolidates and scales up the Bank’s interventions in building human capital in Africa. The success of the strategy rests in its implementation”, said Mr. Emmanuel-Ebot Mbi, AfDB’s first Vice President & Chief Operating Officer who chaired the Board of Executive Directors.