ACBF Further Invests in Economic Policy Management for the Public Sector in Eastern Africa

25 September 2012
press release
Kampala —
  • The African Capacity Building Foundation grants Makerere University USD 2,650 000 for the Economic Policy Management Program (EPM Makerere)

The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) and Makerere University today signed a grant of USD 2.650 000 for four years for the implementation of the Economic Policy Program, Phase IV (EPM Makerere IV).  The goal of the programme is to improve the performance of the public sector in Eastern Africa through enhancing skills and competencies in economic policy management, as well as the strengthening of human and institutional capacity of the College of Business and Management Sciences at Makerere University.

Since 1998, ACBF has invested a total of USD 41 335 000 (forty one million three hundred and thirty five thousand)  towards supporting economic policy management programs in seven universities with regional coverage on the continent, namely University of Yaoundé II, Cameroon; University of Cocody, Cote d'Ivoire; University of Ghana, Ghana; Makerere University, Uganda; University of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo; University of Eduardo Mondlane, Mozambique and University of Zambia, Zambia.

The underlying factor behind ACBF's investment in these programs is the dire need for human resources to undertake sound economic policy formulation and management on the continent as a critical mass of expertise remains to be achieved to address poverty reduction challenges.  The EPM programs have taught ACBF and its partners a few lessons for future and better interventions – the first is that higher learning institutions such as Makerere University remain important vessels for incubating better skills for the public sector; secondly that tailored curricula to address African specific problems can be achieved in a cheaper and targeted manner and, thirdly, that by improving networking capabilities knowledge and experiences between the EPM programs can be shared.  In 2009, EPM Makerere took the lead in setting up the Economic Policy Management Network (EPMAN).  This network has encouraged discussions over curricula development, project management, and setting up technology that allows for sharing teaching and learning methods between the seven EPM programs.   EPM Makerere has since 2005 graduated 508 students.  Countries that have benefitted from the program include Burundi, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.

Speaking at the signing ceremony at Makerere University, ACBF Executive Secretary, and Dr. Frannie Léautier stated that, "Learning never ends.  It is a constant and fundamental need for the progression of the continent.  As we grant Makerere University for the fourth phase, we believe as we did in 1998 that economic policy management is an important factor in addressing the development challenges the continent faces. We believe that universities and other higher education institutions play a central role as nurturers for the development of a critical mass of leaders and indeed drivers of change. Partnerships begin to have a new and deeper meaning when you have invested over a period of time as we have done with the EPM Makerere.  We are now looking for new learning experiences as the development challenges we face are of the past, the immediate and emerging. The public sector personnel are always being challenged not only by the day to day challenges but also the complexity with which new and emerging challenges are presenting themselves.  It is our hope that the EPM Programs will for some time to come continue to play such an important role and remain relevant in the economic development of the continent."

Prof. J. Ddumba-Ssentamu, Vice Chancellor signed on behalf of Makerere University.

About the African Capacity Building Foundation
ACBF was established in February 1991. It is the outcome of collaboration between African governments and the international donor community. Its mission is to build sustainable human and institutional capacity for sustainable growth and poverty reduction in Africa. ACBF's vision is for Africa to be recognized for its socio-political and economic capabilities and endowments – a continent with effective institutions and policies acquired through sustained investment in people and institutions. The Foundation aims to become a leader, major partner, and centre of excellence for capacity building in Africa.

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