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Publication date: 1 October 2011

W. Paatii Ofosu‐Amaah

The birth of the African Capacity Building Foundation on February 9, 1991, was the culmination of intense efforts and groundbreaking commitment to capacity building in…

Abstract

The birth of the African Capacity Building Foundation on February 9, 1991, was the culmination of intense efforts and groundbreaking commitment to capacity building in Africa by Africa Governors of the World Bank, the Bank itself and the cofounding Institutions ‐ the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Program, as well as numerous other individuals. The successes chalked by ACBF towards attainment of its objectives have vindicated those who held the view that establishing an indigenous African institution, with focus on and commitment to the course of Africa’s development was the right course of action at the time. Twenty years on, ACBF has supported nearly 250 projects and programs in 44 African countries and committed more than US$400 million to build capacity on the continent. Projects and programs supported by the Foundation have drawn synergy with and complemented countless other activities of various development institutions operating on the Continent. ACBF’s support has been crucial in the building of development capacity in Africa, whether in ministries of finance and economic planning or central banks. For many among us who dedicated to this initiative and worked towards its realization, we remain humbled by the opportunity to witness the twentieth anniversary of ACBF.

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Publication date: 1 October 2011

Kobena Hanson and Frannie Léautier

This paper draws on the extant literature and experiences of selected ACBF‐supported programs to interrogate approaches to enhancing institutional leadership in African…

Abstract

This paper draws on the extant literature and experiences of selected ACBF‐supported programs to interrogate approaches to enhancing institutional leadership in African universities. The paper posits that African universities must proactively take charge of fostering institutional leadership so as to translate leadership competence into strategic assets. Such assets are key to bolstering intellectual capital, strategic scanning, i.e. the capacity to recognize the behaviour of interconnected systems to make effective decisions under varying strategic and risk scenarios, and the transformation of knowledge. To this end, African universities need to transcend their current “modern” system of education to a post‐modern perspective, which recognizes context, collaboration and knowledge as valued skills. Enhancing institutional leadership is also crucial if Africa is to compete in today’s rapidly globalizing world and knowledge society. More importantly, doing so has direct impact on shaping the quality of leadership on the Continent, and consequently the resulting policy decisions and governance. The paper concludes that while institutional, political, demographic as well as resource challenges exist, African universities today, are uniquely positioned as a result of uptake of knowledge management, strengthened private‐public partnerships and advances in ICT to enhance institutional leadership.

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World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Publication date: 1 October 2011

Frannie A. Léautier

African countries experienced severe macroeconomic shocks in the 1980’s, which put them on a reform path that has generated resilience visible in their ability to recover…

Abstract

African countries experienced severe macroeconomic shocks in the 1980’s, which put them on a reform path that has generated resilience visible in their ability to recover and even grow from the fiscal and economic crises of 2008‐2009. Critical to the success of the reforms was a cadre of skilled people, focused organizations and effective institutions for macroeconomic management, put in place in large part, by the efforts of key stakeholders involved in capacity development. The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is the single most important entity that was created to focus on building capacity in Africa. The choices made and successes achieved by ACBF tell a story of Africa’s attempt to build the capacity needed to develop. Emerging challenges on the horizon call once again for attention to capacity; focus that ACBF is ready for after 20 years of existence. This keynote speech was delivered during the 20th Anniversary Summit of the African Capacity Building 8‐9th February, 2011.

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World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Publication date: 1 October 2011

Allam Ahmed and Kobena T. Hanson

There is now real optimism of the prospects of Africa reclaiming the 21st century given its recent sterling growth performance and the number of successful reforms…

Abstract

There is now real optimism of the prospects of Africa reclaiming the 21st century given its recent sterling growth performance and the number of successful reforms undertaken. There have been considerable and noticeable efforts to invest in innovation, infrastructure, integration, institutions and a revamp of incentive systems to develop new values that allow for transparency, accountability and greater social inclusion. New forms of leaderships have emerged at various social levels and institutions to drive a development agenda based on peer‐learning and knowledge‐sharing. Africa, in so doing, is unearthing deep skills and the reaping low‐hanging fruits needed to speed its ambitions to attain the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and sustainable development. This broad development agenda has required Africa to adopt strategic and practical solutions to the development challenges it faces. This volume interrogates a number of issues that are crucial for the attainment of sustainable development in Africa: a responsive governance framework, the demographic transition and youth bulge, conflict and related dynamics – such as disarmament and demobilisation, capacity building in post‐conflict and fragile states, the role of donors in enhancing (or otherwise) local development efforts, the need to understand the “softer‐side” of capacity development; and above all the role of savvy and strategic leadership. Understanding these issues and beyond, by organizations like the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), will determine whether Africa will achieve its development ambitions in the very near future.

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World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Publication date: 1 October 2011

Allam Ahmed and Kobena T. Hanson

Today, more so than ever before, the African Continent is confronted with many challenges on its path to sustained growth and development. There is no denying the fact…

Abstract

Today, more so than ever before, the African Continent is confronted with many challenges on its path to sustained growth and development. There is no denying the fact that Africa needs to substantially improve growth performance if it is to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). These various challenges facing Africa’s sustainable development were the main focus of the 20th Anniversary Summit of the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) held in the picturesque city of Kigali, Rwanda ‐ under the theme ‘The Future of Africa is Now! The Critical Role of Capacity Development. The aim of this introductory paper of the special issue is to provide a summary of the key presentations from the Summit with special focus on leadership, innovation and the role of the private sector and science and technology, networks of skills and knowledge, rebuilding after conflict, and sustainable support to capacity development. Moreover the paper will also provide a summary of the steps outlined by the summit to build capacities for emerging challenges beyond the MDG. The paper will also include an overview of the ACBF’s flagship publication‐Africa Capacity Indicators Report (ACIR) launched during the Summit and finally conclude by highlighting a key outcome of the Summit ‐ ‘Kigali Resolution’.

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World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Roger Tsafack Nanfosso

How can we account for the actual state of capacity building in Africa? This paper attempts to respond to this question, building on the existing literature and…

Abstract

How can we account for the actual state of capacity building in Africa? This paper attempts to respond to this question, building on the existing literature and statistical data available both within and outside the continent. Using the arguments put forward by different national and international institutions around the world, it is possible to trace the path followed by the capacity building process in Africa around change and human capital theories. Following the creation of ACBF in 1991 and thanks to the intervention of a number of development partners, capacity building practices have significantly influenced the functioning of African States, the implementation of educational systems, the expansion of microfinance, and the impact of multilateral trade negotiations. This paper suggests that capacity building in Africa still requires urgent and vigorous actions towards a qualitative and quantitative of scientists, for the coordination of the dispersed efforts made by various regional and sub‐regional institutions, and for the strengthening of individual and collaborative programmes aimed at developing African human resources in Africa.

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World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Kobena Hanson, George Kararach, Frannie A. Léautier and Robert Nantchouang

Animal spirits in modern economics has a specific meaning; it refers to the restless and inconsistent element in the economy as well as the peculiar relationship people…

Abstract

Animal spirits in modern economics has a specific meaning; it refers to the restless and inconsistent element in the economy as well as the peculiar relationship people have with ambiguity and uncertainty, which tends to lead to paralysis or incredible confidence and energy in decision‐making and risk taking. Animal spirits have also been used to explain peaceful periods and instability or interpret track records of success and periods of disarray or spectacular failure, high levels of trust and confidence or extreme pessimism and distrust. Willingness to undertake extreme effort or self‐sacrifice to get things done is another expression of animal spirits, which can again go in the opposite direction with people shirking responsibilities, and practicing generalized selfishness or individualism. Such behaviours can have visible effects on the performance of public agencies or civil service agencies, in the behaviour of leaders in the public or private sector, or in the economic performance of a country. Differences across agencies and countries over time can also be explained if one is able to distinguish the effect of animal spirits. Using a logistic model, this paper tests for the existence of “animal spirits” in the capacity development interventions spearheaded by the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)‐funded institutions. The analysis and findings highlight, amongst others, the importance of non‐economic factors in shaping the capacity development sphere. Understanding this nature of animal spirits is critical to designing and implementing effective programs for capacity development in Africa. It is particularly important to focus on issues of leadership and leadership development, including the capacity for leaders to instil confidence and piece together stories that motivate people into a common vision of the future or to achieve common objectives.

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World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Sherine Ghoneim and Cheryl Brown

As the knowledge management and research communications arm of the Global Development Network, GDNet builds the capacity of researchers from developing and transition…

Abstract

As the knowledge management and research communications arm of the Global Development Network, GDNet builds the capacity of researchers from developing and transition countries to inform global development research and policy. In its early years, GDNet focused on information and knowledge management staff in developing country research institutes, recognising the importance of this group in moving locally generated research into policy. From 2005 onwards, GDNet piloted a series of knowledge management workshops in Africa, and in 2007, organised a two‐day conference in Cairo, in partnership with the ACBF and the World Bank Institute, to share and examine its findings with others. Called “Knowledge Management as an Enabler of Change and Innovation in Africa”, the conference brought together the experiences and lessons learned from efforts to build knowledge management capacity from across the African continent. In 2007, the discussion centered on two key themes: the need to create an enabling environment for the adoption of knowledge management practices in Africa and the importance of indigenous knowledge assets as inputs to poverty alleviation strategies. In exploring these themes, speakers highlighted several key challenges in “efforts towards building effective communication strategies and building a ‘knowledge friendly culture’ in the continent” (GDN, 2007). The 20th anniversary of ACBF is a timely opportunity to revisit the discussions of 2007, to question progress made towards meeting these challenges and share with delegates how GDNet’s capacity building activities have evolved in the light of the conference findings.

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

George Kararach, Kobena T. Hanson and Frannie A. Léautier

Africa is going through a youth bulge with more people under 25 than above 50 in all of its countries. Creating opportunities for the burgeoning number of youth is a…

Abstract

Africa is going through a youth bulge with more people under 25 than above 50 in all of its countries. Creating opportunities for the burgeoning number of youth is a challenge that cannot be solved only at the country level. Regional integration policies that expand the opportunity space by increasing the size of economies and markets will be critical. Also needed are regional policies that can support the development and enhancement of innovation systems including investment in science and technology education to speed up the creation of a cadre of young people that can lead the transformation of stages of production from dependencies on primary products and extraction. Policies and Programs that can modernize agriculture and support effective creation of value chains that enhance the value added from agriculture that can excite youth back to the rural areas would also be needed. This paper explores the challenges facing countries in Africa in relation to it’s demographic transition, investigating the type of policies that would be most effective to address the challenge. The subsets of policies at the regional level are given special attention due to their opportunity expanding nature. Concrete examples of what has potential from observed results in other regions of the world are provided.

Details

World Journal of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, vol. 7 no. 2/3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5961

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2011

Timothy M. Shaw

Africa faces an unanticipated ‘second chance’ at the start of the second decade of the 21st century: how many ‘developmental’ versus ‘fragile’ states by 2020? The…

Abstract

Africa faces an unanticipated ‘second chance’ at the start of the second decade of the 21st century: how many ‘developmental’ versus ‘fragile’ states by 2020? The interrelated prospects for both BRICs & the continent are being transformed by the current global financial crisis: as the South expands & the North contracts, what S‐N relations in future? The EU of 27 now includes the PIIGS: a disincentive to African regions to sign EPAs unlike the Caribbean? African political economies are now located in second, third & fourth worlds: will they identify with the G20 and/or the G192 (G193 once Southern Sudan independent at start 2011?). Half the dozen fastest growing countries identified in the Economist’s World in 2011 are African (Economist 2010a): from Ghana to Liberia; the CGD in DC now suggests that 17 African countries are ‘leading the way’ & the BCG has identified 40 African corporations as global ‘challengers’. To maximize its development & security, Africa would need to advance ‘network’ or ‘public’ rather than traditional ‘club’ diplomacy, involving civil society & private companies as well as states & intergovernmental agencies. But climate change may yet emerge as the spoiler, hence the importance of COP17 in Durban before the end of 2011! This paper has four parts which stake out paths to a brighter future for the continent, including its myriad diasporas. First: post‐Washington Consensus, ODA from the OECD is of declining importance or attraction. Rather, a range of ‘innovative sources of finance’ are appearing, encouraged by the ‘Leading Group’: global solidarity fund, currency transaction tax, carbon taxes/trading, climate change funds, controls on money laundering & remittance taxes etc. Plus emerging donors like the BRICs & Gulf states, some with SWFs; FBOs; & new private foundation like Gates, Clinton & Ibrahim leading to GAVI etc.Second, Africa has generated an innovative range of ‘new regionalisms’ involving non‐state actors: from Maputo Corridor & Kgalagadi trans‐frontier peace‐park to Nile Basin Initiative/Dialogue; and from International Conference on the GLR to corporate supply chains.Third, ‘new multilateralisms’ or ‘transnational governance’ with African dimensions, from ICBL & Ottawa Process & PAC/GW & Kimberley Process & now DDI to EITI, FCS & MCS to IANSA & ATT; yet coalitions over SALW & children/women’s security are stalled due to US vetoes. And finally, fourth, what implications of this trio of novel directions & players for our analyses & policies, state & non‐state: who are the ‘drivers’, innovators & animators? How to transit from dependency & neoliberalism towards a Beijing Consensus? Where ACBF & its partners in 2030/2040/2050?

Details

World Journal of Science, Technology and Sustainable Development, vol. 8 no. 2/3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2042-5945

Keywords

1 – 10 of 31