African Capacity Building Foundation

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The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) is an independent, capacity-building institution established in February 1991 through the collaborative efforts of three multilateral institutions (the African Development Bank (AfDB), the World Bank, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), African governments and bilateral donors. The establishment of the ACBF was a response to the severity of Africa’s capacity problem and the challenge to invest in indigenous human capital and institutions in Sub-Saharan Africa. The current membership comprises the three sponsoring agencies (AfDB, UNDP and the World Bank), the International Monetary Fund (IMF), which joined the Foundation in April 2002, as well as 32 African countries and non-African countries and institutions. In addition, Japan and Canada have contributed resources to the Foundation.

The Foundation’s principal objectives are to:

  • build and strengthen sustainable indigenous capacity for macroeconomic policy analysis and development throughout Sub-Saharan Africa;
  • improve through co-financing and other networking arrangements, the channeling of donor support for capacity building in the area of the Foundation’s mandate;
  • contribute to programs for the reversal of brain drain from the continent and encourage retention as well as intensive utilization of existing capacity;
  • build capacity in key areas of the public sector with emphasis on the interface between the public sector, the private sector, and civil society ;
  • provide support for regional initiatives in the area of research and training; establish systematic links between economic research and training institutions and governments to foster greater understanding and communications between such entities.

In addition ACBF seeks to build a partnership between African governments and their development partners, which allows for effective coordination of interventions in capacity building and the strengthening of African ownership, leadership and responsibility in the capacity-building process.

The focus of activities is on improving public sector capacity for macro and sector policy design and management as well as enhancement of effectiveness of institutions, processes, systems and procedures that support policy and institutional reforms critical for improved transparency, accountability and good governance in the public sector.

ACBF intervenes in capacity building using three funding mechanisms: Direct Funding, Co-financing, and Parallel Funding. Technical and advisory assistance is provided to project beneficiaries at several levels in the project management cycle. ACBF currently intervenes in 39 Sub-Saharan countries and five sub-regions. As of March 2006, the ACBF Secretariat was comprised of 60 staff (excluding the Executive Secretary), of which 42 professional staff.

Statistical Activities

ACBF acknowledges that strengthening statistical services is vital for generating reliable data on socio-economic indicators at macro, meso-and micro-levels to enable policy targeting and evaluation of impacts of poverty reduction programs. It has included the strengthening and monitoring of national statistics as one of the core competencies in capacity building in its Strategic Plan. It currently has several statistical projects under way.

Received 2008. Update 2010 Pending


The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) 
Intermarket Life Towers
7th & 15th Floors
Corner Jason Moyo and Sam Nujoma Street
P. O. Box 1562, Harare,

Tel: (+ 263 4) 702931/2, 700208, 700214, 799783, 799787, 799810, 799812

Fax: +263 4 70 29 15/ +263 4 73 85 20