The signing of four grant agreements reaffirms the Foundation’s commitment to capacity development, rooted in Africa’s realities and targetting specific areas for scaling up, throughinvestment and innovation.
The African Capacity Building Foundation has signed four grants agreements totaling USD 9.6 million. The grants, signed at the University of Ghana,were made to the Centre Africain d’Etudes Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG III) for the Master Degree in Banking and Finance, Phase III for USD 1.6 million; the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) for USD 2 million; the Economic Policy Management Training Program of the University of Yaoundé II Phase IV (EPM – Yaoundé IV) for USD 2.94 million and the Economic Policy Management Training Programme of the University of Cocody, Abidjan Phase IV for USD 3.05 million. All these are regional programmes, with CODESRIA having a continental reach. Combined, the programmes cover four areas: economic policy analysis, public administration and research and knowledge generation.
The goal of the CESAG-MBF Phase III is to improve the financial management and accountability of African countries in the areas of corporate banking, risk management and capital markets. The CESAG’s MBF Program, a bilingual (French and English) master’s degree program, is the result of an initiative from CESAG, the Banque Centrale des Etats de l’Afrique de l’Ouest (BCEAO), the Banque Centrale des Etats d’Afrique Centrale (BEAC) and the Banque de France. The CESAG’s MBF Project is an autonomous program based in CESAG and funded by several donors including ACBF. It has been designed to enable participants to apply theoretical concepts to practical financial and banking problems.
ACBF currently supports the training of economic policy analysts in 7 universities across Africa: EPM-Cameroon, EPM-Cote d’Ivoire, EPM-DRC, EMP-Ghana, EPM-Uganda, EPM-Mozambique and EPM-Zambia. The goal of the EPMs is to build a critical mass of expertise in the area of economic policy analysis and management. To date, through its training programs, ACBF has supported institutions in developing a critical mass of 3000 experts in economic analysis and management at the PhD, Masters and Post Graduate levels. More than 15,000 African experts have had their skills improved through short term courses and seminars. This expertise has been credited with enabling the resilience that Africa has shown in rebounding after the 2008 financial and economic crisis.
The Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) is a Pan-African social science research institution headquartered in Dakar, Senegal. CODESRIA’s main mandate is to promote social science research in Africa. It conducts its activities across the continent, in collaboration with regional and national research centres and institutes.
Institutional and individual members, candidates and laureates for research grants andparticipants in training programs and conferences are "recruited" from 53 countries, as well as from the Diaspora.
Addressing the audience at the grant signing ceremony, Dr. Frannie Léautier, ACBF Executive Secretary stated that all four institutions carried heavy responsibilities, as they were the vehicles that built the critical capacities and leaders in economic policy analysis, research and public administration. The development of the adequate human capacity for economic policy analysis, she said, needed to be underscored for the development of the continent.
"The EPM programs, which were first implemented in 2003, showed great foresight regarding the need to develop the requisite skills for the development challenges Africa faces today", said Dr Léautier. "Investment in these programs has seen fruitful results, giving us the confidence to continue to invest. Challenges for the EPM Programmes include those of increasing the number of skilled analysts in Africa and also remaining innovative in the face of new challenges. The main challenge faced by the CESAG programmeis that of developing effective and efficient public administrators and we believe that CESAG has remained focussed on this goal. Building a critical mass of young researchers and improving teaching and writing skills also remains a challenge, however CODESRIA, with its continental focus, allows for a broader perspective within the particular niche needed for research and knowledge management capacities on the continent", she concluded.
All the programme representatives thanked the ACBF for its continued support. They recognised ACBF’s uniqueness as a pan African institution that fully focuses on assisting African institutions to play their part in developing the continent. Grantees also emphasised the support rendered by the Foundation in encouraging institutions to deal with poverty reduction issues, while developing concrete solutions for Africa’s development. This, they concurred, enabling Africa play a meaningful role in solving her own development challenges.
Signing the four grant agreements in Accra is significant,given that Ghana will soon become the West Africa hub for the Foundation, as ACBF decentralises its continental presence.
(Source : All Africa, 15 April 2012)