The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) first Human Capital Strategy (HCS) was approved by the Board of Executive Directors on 28 May 2014 in Tunis. This four-year strategy, which is focused on Skills and Technology, provides the operational framework for the Bank's interventions in development in areas such as education, skills development, health, science, technology, innovation, social protection, safety nets and youth employment. The vision is to build skills and make the most efficient use of new technologies to improve competitiveness and create jobs.
While Africa is on the rise, the continent is faced with challenges of rapid economic growth, poverty, inequality and striking disadvantages for youth and women. Overcoming major problems such as low quality education, skills mismatch, poor service delivery, low productivity in the informal sector, unemployment and underemployment is critical to growth.
As part of the HCS, the Bank proposes a New Education Model in Africa (NEMA) which presents a radical shift from the brick and mortar approach to education to a model that supports critical thinking, the application of cutting-edge education technologies, and public-private partnerships (PPPs).
Based on previous studies and interventions, the Bank has noted the need to scale up its support to Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa. It plans to focus on building critical skills in several sectors of the economy including infrastructure and natural resource management to improve competitiveness as well as skills in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
The Bank plans to support investments in skills and technology development in Regional Member Countries through knowledge work, policy dialogue and lending operations. The Human Capital Strategy also promotes social entrepreneurship and economic policy that fosters job creation.