Four reasons why African states must raise their game in funding capacity for development.

Author:Nnadozie, Emmanuel
Position:Talking Point

That Africa is a well-endowed region of the world, a continent said to have a "golden hand", is indisputable. But the fact that our continent is not fully taking advantage of its weight and worth in gold, to transform itself and be the development wonder of the world, is a major issue to ponder.

This issue of why Africa is not yet fully taking advantage of its potential to completely achieve its own development, presents a serious challenge.

How quickly African leaders make the right choice on this issue, especially in supporting the comprehensive work done by capacity development organisations and think-tanks, and particularly the work of ACBF (which this January was officially designated as the AU's Specialised Agency for Capacity Development), will greatly determine the pace of implementation and success of Agenda 2063 and the other development plans.

I speak with conviction that it is time African countries developed a radical change of mindset that leads to the prioritising of funding for capacity development. For, unless we can slay the demon of capacity deficits, it will be difficult to implement Agenda 2063 and the SDGs. I therefore want to reiterate the following four reasons why African states must raise their game in funding capacity for development:


The institutional capacity deficits on the continent affect every level of African life. They affect the AU Commission and its organs and prevent them from effectively coordinating the continental development agenda.

They affect regional economic communities (RECs) and inhibit them from effectively playing their role as building blocks of the continental development architecture and accelerating regional integration.

The deficits also affect national institutions and take away their ability to align national development plans to continental and global agendas. Moreover, they affect Africa's ability to retain, harmonise and fully utilise the capacity that it may have already sweated to acquire.


The continent has an acute shortage of the critical technical skills necessary for accelerating its industrialisation and socioeconomic transformation.

An ACBF study on the capacity needed to achieve the First Ten-Year Plan of Agenda 2063 has shown that the continent lacks over 4.3m engineers and around 9,000 mining specialists/engineers.

It is therefore imperative that Africa invests more in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, but we cannot do...

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