The African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), the African Union’s Specialised Agency for Capacity Development on the continent, has awarded a grant valued at $1.3 million to the West African Institute for Financial and Economic Management (WAIFEM).
The grant is to finance regional training workshops and seminars on gender-responsive economic policy management and budgeting.
It will also finance studies in financial and economic management and for the dissemination of outputs on economic and financial governance issues in the West African sub region.
The beneficiaries of the training include staff of Central Banks, ministries of finance and economic planning and other public sector bodies in Nigeria, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Liberia and the Gambia that are the member-states of WAIFEM.
Signing the grant in Abuja, Nigeria, the Executive Secretary of the ACBF, Professor Emmanuel Nnadozie said that WAIFEM would use the grant to consolidate and expand the scope of its activities within the next 18 months.
“In the midst of a global financial and economic downturn with potential for grave consequences for African countries, many of whom are aid dependent, the relevance of institutions such as WAIFEM cannot be over-emphasised,” Professor Nnadozie said.
“I am particularly happy to note that the current phase of support to this Institute has components that would devise programs to respond to emerging issues in the global economy and their impact on sub-regional member countries,” he added.
As the continent’s premier agency for developing human and institutional capacities, ACBF has in the past 17 years provided financial support totalling more than $8 million to WAIFEM for its activities.
With the new grant, the support has increased to about $10 million.
The Director General of WAIFEM, Prof. Akpan Ekpo said ACBF’s assistance over the years had enabled the institute to train more than 16,000 people in various areas of finance and economic management staff of the five member states.
“The mission of the Institute is to develop on a sustainable basis the expertise in the field of macroeconomic, debt and financial sector management” among the staff of Central Banks, government departments and agencies in member countries,” Prof. Ekpo stated.