The 3rd Capacity Development Forum has started in Harare on Monday. The Forum is part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) hosted by the government.
ACBF’s membership consists of 39 African countries that include, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo (Brazzaville), Congo (DRC), Côte d'Ivoire, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sao Tomé & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
The Foundation has also benefited from the financial support of 13 non-African countries, namely Austria, Canada; Denmark; Finland; France; Greece; India; Ireland; The Netherlands; Norway; Sweden; United Kingdom and the United States of America) and 3 multilateral institutions, namely the World Bank, the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Since its inception, ACBF has supported capacity building programs and projects in 45 African countries.
Dr. Thomas Chataghalala Munthali, director of Knowledge, Monitoring and Evaluation (KME) at the Africa Capacity Building Foundation said, “Basically what it is about is to bring various actors and players on the continent to discuss the achievements around capacity building that has taken place over a period of time and also to reflect the key challenges in terms of capacity that still remain especially in as far as the development challenges of the continent is concerned.”
He said the meeting is focusing more on how nations can build capacity towards the continent’s economic and social transformation.
The Foundation will explore the major challenges and opportunities associated with capacity development, including youth employment.
“We are actually in the process of devising our next strategic plan. One of the key aspects we have highlighted in there, is how to create jobs for the youth and creating jobs not just having them employed but also creating entrepreneurship that helps them to be employers.”
The migration of skills and expertise among the youth has been a challenge to Zimbabwe and Africa in general.
“Part of the challenges that we are seeing … moving across from the continent to other parts of the world are really in search for greener pastures because the continent cannot support its youth in giving them the jobs they need so we have a whole lot more people being trained but not matching the specifications and jobs the private sector is coming up with.”
Wealth creation among the youth remains key to building sustainable development in Zimbabwe. “If you are looking at entrepreneurship base as for example, Zimbabwe is making a case for a lot more indigenization, the idea is that if more youth more locals are involved in the wealth creation of country … the better.
“One of the development challenges is youth unemployment. What we are trying to address as one of the aspects is how we get various partners and governments including the donor community to make commitments to say how do we build capacity for our youth so they are relevant for the kind of environment that we are living in … They are relevant to contribute to sustainable development goals, relevant to contribute to 2063 and they are part and parcel of the development agenda. The development agenda of the continent, because they are the majority at the same time they are really not in the driving seat of the whole thing. So it is an important forum because it makes the important players to recognize that there is a missing link.”
The writer Chioneso Jani can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org