You may never have heard of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), but it has been one of the most effective pan-African organisations in its work to positively impact lives on the continent. In May, the ACBF will celebrate its 25th anniversary. Baffour Ankomah went to its headquarters in Plarare, Zimbabwe, to interview its executive secretary, Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozle (pictured below).
"The African Capacity Building Foundation [ACBF] has been described by many important people as Africa's best-kept secret", says Prof. Emmanuel Nnadozie, its executive secretary. Having been in the hot seat for just about two years, Prof. Nnadozie, a Nigerian, is about to change all that. He wants to not only make the ACBF one of the best-known institutions on the continent, but also one of the most important organisations, paying attention to a critical area that Africa has always taken for granted: capacity building.
In May, the ACBF will celebrate its 25th anniversary in elaborate ceremonies to be held in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, where it is headquartered. Important guests will come from near and far to share in the joy of an organisation that, from humble beginnings, has grown into a giant.
"In the past 25 years," says Prof. Nnadozie, "the Foundation has changed quite a lot. In fact I would even say that it has fulfilled its vision of an Africa that is capable of achieving its own development--in the sense that if you look across the 45 African countries where the ACBF has had a presence, you will see that in each of them, the ACBF has been able to strengthen fellow institutions, build human capital where critical skills were needed to support government policy and policy implementation, and also strengthen the voice of civil society and the relationship between civil society and the government sector.
"In other words, the ACBF has actually established, created, and supported the institutions that are necessary for economic development --whether they are those of government ranging from the executive branch of government to parliament, as well as private sector federations and civil society organisations."
The ACBF was established on 9 February 1991 as an independent, non-profit international organisation, in response to the shortage of capacity in Africa and the need to invest in the continents indigenous human capital and institutions in order to foster sustainable development. It was designed to serve as a coordinating mechanism...