The African Capacity Building Foundation has so far channelled about U.S.$40 million towards capacity development of think tanks in Zimbabwe among other notable regional projects since its inception, an ACBF official has said.
A think tank is a research institute or organisation employed to solve complex problems or predict or plan future developments, as in military, political, economic or social areas.
ACBF Manager Operations, Eastern and Southern Africa Department Dr Roger Atindehou said ACBF has been investing in capacitating think tanks to inform policy formulation in the continent.
“We have been investing here and we have invested about $40 million towards national and regional projects as well.
“ACBF has been supporting think tanks in Zimbabwe and one of the major beneficiaries has been the Zimbabwe Economic Policy and Research Institute and the National Economic Consultative Forum,” said.
“The impact of those institutions in influencing policy has been huge hence the reason why we think Governments should invest towards capacity development,” he said.
ACBF is of the view that think tanks play a critical role in the policy process by serving as catalysts for ideas and actions on key policy issues and bridging the gap between knowledge and policy between Governments and stakeholders.
The success of ACBF supported think tanks in driving the policy agenda at country and regional levels has been recognised and these include “Think Tank Initiative” supported by the Hewlett and Gates Foundations and Canada’s International Development Research Centre.
ACBF funds strategic capacity building projects and programs submitted by governments of African member countries and non-state actors at both the national and regional levels which demonstrate prospects for maximum impact.
Typical capacity development activities include research capacity to support policy formulation and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, policy dialogue between Government and non-state actors and institutional strengthening to effectively deliver capacity building programs and track progress.
ACBF however will be celebrating its 25 years of existence, successfully supporting capacity building initiatives on the continent.
The celebrations will run for four days from May 2 to 6 and will be hosted by Government.
The theme of the anniversary will be, “Developing Capacity for Africa’s Economic and Social Transformation”.
ACBF knowledge, monitoring and evaluation director Dr Thomas Munthali said the celebrations will bring together African Governments, Development Partners, the private and civil society sectors as well as the academia.
As part of the celebrations, there will be the third Capacity Development Forum, which will run during the same period where ACBF, its partners and other capacity building institutions will showcase their work.