AfDB manages a large portfolio of operations in different sectors and countries in Africa and it ensures that its operations yield results on the ground. The effective implementation of these operations depends not only on design and supervision but also on the capability of those who manage them.
Therefore, to enhance development effectiveness and knowledge-sharing in Africa, the AfDB has recently approved a capacity development strategy under which the African Development Institute (ADI) is the focal point.
The strategy aims at:
- Enhancing the development effectiveness of the AfDB funded operations; and
- Fostering policy dialogue and development management.
In addition, to better respond to the countries needs in capacity, the strategy provides the African Development Bank Group with a platform to strengthen its internal capacities, particularly those related to the implementation of its operations.
To achieve these objectives, the Institute works in close collaboration with all departments and develops active partnerships with other institutions.
Focal point for Capacity Development
At its creation in 1973, the mandate of the ADI was to enhance the effectiveness of the AfDB’s funded operations. After a reorientation in 1992 followed by a restructuring in 2001, the ADI became in 2010 the focal point of the African Development Bank Group in capacities development. As such, the Institute assumes the following:
- The delivery of training activities on the AfDB’s strategic issues;
- The provision of assistance, advice and guidance to Operations and Sector Departments in the design and implementation of their capacity development activities;
- The delivery of the Annual Meetings Seminars;
- The provision of knowledge dissemination services; and,
- The development of training materials (including elearning tools) to support operations.
The Institute is also responsible for:
- Establishing partnerships with other national or regional institutions involved in capacity development.
- Partnering with other institutions such as the ACBF, AERC, JICA, InWent, IMF, OECD, UNDP, WB, ILO, and the WTO, to develop country-profiles on capacity development and allow the Bank to make well informed recommendations.
- Participating in the review of projects documents and Country Strategy Papers to provide guidance on the adequacy and scope of their capacity development activities.
- Establishing and maintaining a network of institutions involved in capacity development in Africa and a network of experts including alumni of the AfDB course participants with a view to develop and maintain a community of practice.
- Strengthening the management, processing, and dissemination of knowledge for the benefit of the AfDB and African countries.
Enhancing Development Effectiveness
The Institute contributes to building capacities in the institutions of African countries. The objective is to improve the capacity of the regional member countries to enable them respond to development challenges, while enhancing the quality of its project portfolio.
The Institute’s activities aim at supporting the AfDB’s strategic orientations as defined in its Medium-Term Strategy (2008- 2012). The spectrum of workshop topics has, over time, expanded to include topics such as project cycle management, policy-based allocation of the ADF resources and debt sustainability. All these activities have improved the effectiveness of the operations. Special focus is given to Fragile States (FS) and countries which are resources-rich but weak in capacities.
ADI’s training focuses on improving the design and implementation of Bank-financed operations and respond to needs identified by the countries. ADI organizes project implementation workshops to familiarize project staff and civil servants of concerned ministries with AfDB’s procurement, disbursement, and audit procedures. These work shops have proved to be an excellent framework for exchange of ideas between AfDB’s staff and national project staff resulting in greater project implementation effectiveness.
Fostering policy dialogue and Development Management
In line with the Paris Declaration and the Accra Agenda for action, the African Development Bank aims at strengthening RMCs’capacity to effectively design and implement their own economic policies and to use Knowledge produced in the Bank and elsewhere and to engage in policy dialogue with development partners.
The Bank seeks also to build its internal capacity with a view to improving the performance of its operations departments and thus enhancing that of the entire institution. The underlying rationale is to ensure that the Bank staffs involved in developing capacity in the African countries have the required knowledge and skills to better fulfill their duties.
Active partnership for capacity development
The Institute is partnering with other international and national development agencies to deliver capacity building programs. Each agency focuses in its areas of expertise in order to produce and optimize synergies and complementarities. The Institute maintains active partnership with donors’ institutions, development agencies, training institutions, universities, and the private sector agencies.
The Joint Partnership for Africa (JPA)
In the context of the Joint Partnership for Africa, the AfDB offers a platform for institutions such as the IMF, IFAD, JICA, JBIC, InWent and the WTO, engaged in capacity development in Africa to address training needs on macroeconomic issues. The Bank provides these institutions with relevant information about the priority capacity needs of African countries through the outcomes of its regular needs assessment.
It also seeks to partner with these institutions as well as national and regional think tanks and regional economic communities to develop and harmonize training materials for use in the regional member countries.
During the AfDB’s Annual Meetings, the Institute organizes High-level seminars and fosters a dialogue with Ministers and Officials of international repute. The Institute offers activities and services related to Knowledge sharing and dissemination through events such as the African Economic Conference and the Eminent Speakers Program and also its Knowledge and Virtual Resources Centre (KVRC).
African Economic Conference
In partnership with the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), the AfDB organizes the African Economic Conference. The objectives of the conference is to:
- Promote knowledge as an important driver of policy dialogue, planning and implementation;
- Foster and promote innovative thinking among researchers, development practitioners, and African policymakers;
- Encourage and enhance research on economic and policy issues related to the development of African economies; and
- Provide an opportunity for Africans in the Diaspora,
Eminent Speakers Program
Designed inthe late 90s by the ADI as a special forum for exchange of opinions on development challenges in Africa, the Eminent Speakers Program was launched in 2006. The program is designed as a platform in which African leaders and world renowned personalities (Africans and non-Africans) can share their views on daunting development challenges facing the continent. To date, the following eminent personalities have participated in the Program: K. Y. Amoako, Jacques Attali, Michel Camdessus, Ha Joon Chang, Paul Collier, Abdou Diouf, Calestous Juma, Kenneth Kaunda, Wangari Maathai, Benjamin Mkapa, Festus Mogae, Sadako Ogata, Nicholas Stern, Joseph Stiglitz and James D. Wolfensohn.
Knowledge and Virtual Resources Centre (KVRC)
The Institute manages the Bank’s Knowledge and Virtual Resources Centre (KVRC) which offers reference and research assistance, current awareness profiles, electronic subscriptions, and document delivery services. All library operations are fully automated including research catalog, loans, reservations and renewals.
In addition to its printed collection of the latest research materials in the areas relevant to the bank’s operations, the Centre offers online access to a wide array of digital resources including statistical databases, online full text archives, electronic scholarly and professional journals, newspapers, business intelligence sources, official documents, and links to relevant Web sites.
KVRC maintains a network of resource sharing arrangements with several international academic and research institutions, and subscribes to document delivery utilities in Europe and North America.