AfDB-ACBF Conference Highlights Importance of Capacity Development in Africa
A conference organized on March 24, 2010, in Tunis by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) on capacity building in Africa has underscored the importance of capacity development on the continent, especially in post-conflict countries. Speaking during the event, the AfDB President, Donald Kaberuka, underscored the importance of capacity development on the continent, stressing the timelines and urgency of dialogue on capacity development at the highest level of the continent's leadership.
Also speaking at the event, Burkina Faso's President, Blaise Compaoré, stressed that capacity building on the continent required high-level commitment and political will. He added that post-conflict capacity building should include post-conflict peace management and the process, he highlighted, should involve neighboring countries as most conflicts on the continent do usually spread to neighboring countries and create huge challenges to these countries.
“Capacity building is a process through which development agents aim at creating a social, economic and political environment conducive for the improvement of their abilities to efficiently and actively play their respective role over time. It also requires high-level political commitment and the application of a diagnostic method involving all the concerned actors, making it possible to design a programme external partners can make useful contributions. In the context of post-conflict countries, capacity building as a cross-cutting activity must be part of an overall reconstruction and rehabilitation scheme for it to be effective. Post-conflict reconstruction is therefore a complex and dynamic process which requires each country to have a precise approach. Within the African context where there are many challenges, it requires collective action and courageous responses,” he said.
He added that “the elimination of institutional deficiencies and skills deficits constitute an imperative for the acceleration of growth and aid flows in developing countries. Capacity building in post-conflict countries is a real challenge. Post-conflict countries are countries seeking to stabilize and bear the scars of civil war, whose people have specific needs which must be met.”
He called on African countries to make efforts at catching up technologically and to find effective responses to their institutional and human capacity deficiencies in order guarantee continued and sustainable growth. Burkina Faso, he said, was despite its numerous challenges, investing in the development of its human resources through the creation of appropriate conditions for the participation of all segments of its society to the country’s development efforts.
The Rwandan representative at the event, for his part, presented the distance his country had covered with regard to peace management and capacity building. Leadership, he said, was key to nation-building and capacity development. He stressed that critical to achieving capacity building goals, was the people's participation in development programmes and projects.
The event, which was held on the theme: "20 years of capacity development - Africa's story", aimed at mobilizing the attention of Africans and their partners on the importance of adopting innovative solutions to capacity development challenges in fragile and post-conflict environments. The event brought together senior government officials from across the continent as well as representatives of development agencies and multilateral institutions.