Africa is rich in forest resources, though their distribution between countries and even within countries is highly uneven. This distribution is potentially good for trade within individual countries and between countries. The human and institutional capacity to take advantage of these resources in socio-economic development of the continent remains weak. On one hand governments and donors have invested heavily in the sector while on the other various macroeconomic policies have put brakes on this investment, specifically in curtailing the development of human capacity in the sector. There are various initiatives to correct this at the national level, for example through national forestry programmes that are increasingly becoming linked to poverty alleviation strategies. Various international processes, agreements, and conventions, if strategically implemented, hold potential to increase the capacity of the sector in national development. Donor support for capacity building should have clear plans for transfer of skills and institutional reinforcement.
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Vol. 8 • No. 1