Africa Investments 

African Development Bank project enhances scholarship and research capacity in African countries and regional institutions

Through funding from the African Development Fund’s (ADF) Regional Public Goods window, a training and research capacity building programme has awarded 90 Master’s and five PhD scholarships to strengthen capacity for inclusive and green growth policy formulation in Africa.

The Research Capacity and Knowledge Enhancement for Africa’s Transformation Project implemented by the African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), received a grant of about $6.8 million.

Around 100 individuals benefited from the graduate training programme which was implemented between 2016 and 2019, according to a Bank report published on 9 October 2020. The beneficiaries included post graduate students, researchers, some tertiary institutions, policy makers and non-government organizations in the private sector and civil society. The project beneficiaries spanned 20 African countries: Burundi, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Somalia and Togo.

An intensive 8-weeks bridging programme enabled 26 students to get admission to further their postgraduate studies in Economics and Agricultural Economics. The under-represented countries included Burkina Faso, Burundi, Liberia, Mozambique, Somalia and South Sudan.

Participants from French speaking countries also benefitted.

While the project has enabled graduate training in areas related to inclusive and green growth, a huge amount of work also went into improving the quality of research and policy dialogue capacity on the continent. It has also provided a platform for exchange of ideas among policy makers facilitating  south-south cooperation and enabling  policy makers to learn from one another..

The project also provided early-career researchers with analytical skills and awarded 30 thematic research grants to conduct research to inform policy making. The technical and analytical skills of 42 non-state actors were enhanced to enable them to analyse issues related to the management of development policies.

Seventeen universities received institutional support to acquire teaching equipment and six doctoral scholarships were awarded. A total of 110 university lecturers received professional development to be better prepared for emerging issues in their disciplines.

“A total of 139 policy makers (28% women) attended regional policy forums held in Kenya, Rwanda and South Africa … 260 farmers (36% women) attended short-term training in entrepreneurship and record-keeping. The successful implementation of the project components ensured that outputs far surpassed what was envisaged for some activities,” concludes the African Development Bank report.

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