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By Dr. Jacques Katuala Manager, Training Operations Department The Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) PowerPoint Presentation
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Lessons of Experience ACBF’s Partnership with the World Bank Institute on African Economic Policy Management Training Program through the Joint Japan-World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program. By Dr. Jacques Katuala Manager, Training Operations Department

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Lessons of Experience ACBF’s Partnership with the World Bank Institute on African Economic Policy Management Training Program through the Joint Japan-World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program


Dr. Jacques Katuala

Manager, Training Operations Department

The Africa Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF)

  • In 1994, the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), in partnership with the World Bank Institute (WBI) and through the Joint Japan-World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program (JJWB/GSP), established the Economic Policy Management Program (EPM).
  • The program was established to train middle and senior level policy advisors and managers from sub-Saharan Africa leading to a Master’s Degree in Economic Policy Management.
african economic policy management programs
African Economic Policy Management Programs



background cont d



  • Through this initiative, two EPM programs were established: An “Anglophone” Program at McGill University in Montreal (Canada) and a “Francophone” Program at Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Développement International (CERDI) of Auvergne University at Clermont–Ferrand (France).
  • In 1998, the two programs EPM programs incubated in France and Canada were transferred to Africa Partner Universities (APUs).
program goals and objectives
  • The overall goal of the EPM is to improve economic management in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • The immediate objectives of these programs are:
    • To strengthen the institutional and human capacity of APUs to that they can be able to sustainably organize the EPM Program.
    • To train a critical mass of economic policy analysts and managers required for meeting development management challenges facing sub-Saharan Africa.
    • To network EPM Programs in Africa and similar programs in the world.
achievements of african epms
  • The four universities have implemented two phases of the program and produced the following outputs.

M.A Degree Training

  • The four African universities has jointly produced over 1000 graduates at the average cost of US$15,000.
  • Graduates are now being employed in Central Banks, Development Banks, Government Ministry/Agency, University, International/Regional Organizations, Consultants, etc.
achievements of african epms cont d
  • Human capacity building
  • In the area of human capacity building in the department of economics covered by these programs, the faculty members continue to be trained as trainers so as they can effectively organize courses, workshops and seminars. One university has been able to use the EPM Program to train its faculty, moving them to the level of Ph.D. Through the EPMs, there has been an exchange of faculty and even of students.
achievements cont d

Institutional capacity building

  • Since the inception of the EPM program, hundreds of computers, UPS, printers, 4 dot matrix printers, LCD Projectors, scanners, Laptop computers, Zip Drives, CD writers, Servers and Software have been procured by respective program.
  • These equipments are housed in an air-conditioned computer laboratory, with a twenty-four optic fiber Internet connection. The departments libraries have been reasonably well stocked with titles in Economics and Management. The Program has managed to acquire furniture for academic staff and students as well as provision of suitable classrooms and offices. This has greatly enhanced the teaching and learning environment of the departments of economics.
achievements cont d and end
ACHIEVEMENTS (cont’d and end)
  • Networking
  • In order to rip the benefits of networking, the African EPM Programs have established their own network, the Economic Policy Management African Network (EPMAN) and meet yearly to exchange experiences, ideas and to discuss policy and program issues.
  • Overall, the EPM Programs have become the beacon of light and a subject of pride at all four African universities.
lessons learned


  • Lessons learned from the incubation in Northern Universities are related to the cost of the program and the impact of the incubation. At an average of US$60,000 for each scholar, this cost was extremely high when compared to average of US$18,000 per scholar in the four participating African universities. Hosting the program in Africa has made it possible to train about three scholars for the price of one in the Northern institutions.
  • As regards the impact of the incubation, a retrospective analysis and an evaluation conducted at the end of the two programs indicate that their impact was limited to training of few program managers. The question is: did they really need to be incubated at CERDI and McGill? The answer is: no.
lessons learned cont d

2. Program Governance

  • The governance of all the four programs was designed so as to enable them to be fully integrated into the governance structure and organs of each university in which they are organized. The main lesson learned was that this integration has been more or less successful even though the cost of it has been relatively high at some universities.
lessons learned cont d13

3.Program Management.

  • The main lesson learned from the management of the EPM Programs in Africa is that it has been successful at some universities while at some it has not.
  • Two question we have been asked at ACBF: whether these programs should have been included in the Department of Economics given that their main focus is on policy analysis, evaluation and management and not on economics. The second lesson is the fact that existing EPMs have not been able to successfully market themselves, leading to problems of their financial sustainability.
lessons learned cont d14

4. Program contents

  • The main lesson learned as regards program contents is that it was adapted from the original EPM programs incubated at CERDI and McGill to the African context. In our view, the contents of the program needs to be refined so as it can be adapted to changes within the environment.
  • The only difficulty is the resistance to change by Economics Department at universities that are more conservative than the society in which they operate. The other difficulty is that of developing training materials that reflect this environment by faculty training in the program. This is mostly due to insufficient experience in developing Africa-relevant training materials and financial resources.
lessons learned cont d15

5.Training methods and techniques

  • Given that the EPM program is a professional course with emphasis on application of theory, tools and techniques, the teaching of the course has not been able to adequately reflect this philosophy.
  • This underlines the importance of Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop for all lecturers teaching on the program to sharpen their skills to deliver the courses. There is need for more cooperation between EPMs, WBI, ACBF and similar institutions to organize TOT workshops for EPM faculty.
lessons learned cont d16

6.Duration of EPM Program

  • In the last two phases, the four host universities of the program on the continent did not have the same calendar for the course. In order to harmonize the duration, it was agreed that the course should be offered in 12 months, particularly when the 4 months internship is replaced with field visits.

7. Follow up of EPM graduates

  • Except at one university, a systematic follow up of scholars has not been undertaken. This is again mostly due to the insufficient practice at APUs of organizing tracer studies to follow up graduates
lessons learned cont d17

8. Networking and mentoring

  • In the area of financial sustainability of the program, it was noted that none of the four universities has succeeded in mobilizing co-funding to bridge the shortfall. To address this in Phase III, a collective action through the Economic Policy Management African Network (EPMAN) would be encouraged.
  • Partnership between the World Bank Institute and ACBF through the Joint-Japan World Bank Graduate Scholarship Program has been a model of partnership due to:
  • The common understanding of the capacity problems and opportunities of African countries in the area of economic policy analysis and management from which the capacity needs were identified.
  • The agreement on strategic objectives identified from these capacity needs.
conclusion cont d
Conclusion (Cont’d)
  • The common understanding of the two institutions that ownership of the programs by the four universities themselves was one of the key for their sustainability.
  • Constant adaptation of the design and implementation of the EPM programs to their African environment; and, especially, permanent exchange of ideas and information between stakeholders on how best to achieve the program objectives.
  • The issue of insufficient accessibility still needs to be addressed
end of presentation