The African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP) organized a five day training workshop on perspective studies in Tunis, from the 17th - 21st July 2017. The workshop was conducted in partnership with the Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies (ITES) and the African Futures Institute.
The overarching objective of the workshop was to equip policymakers with the required tools to understand the underlying principles and stages of the perspective approach. Following the implementation of structural adjustment programs during the “lost decades” characterized by mixed development outcomes, an increasing number of African countries are now engaged in the definition of long term development plans which are different in approach to structural adjustment plans whose terms were shorter and whose main goal was to respond to socio-economic emergencies. The training workshop aimed at responding to the need to build the capacities of African planners in formulating long term development visions, the main objective of those visions being to give an ideal image of the socio-economic situation of the country for a specified time horizon (generally 20 to 30 years) and in view of the main development challenges as well as the main forces of change at the national and international levels. These long term development visions should then form the basis for short and medium term socio-economic development plans.
The workshop was graced by the participation of 20 middle and senior level policymakers from 17 Francophone African countries, who predominantly work in the planning ministries of their respective countries.
During the opening ceremony of the workshop, IDEP‘s Director, Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, highlighted the revival of planning across the African continent with the appearance of several long term plans aimed at promoting the emergence of countries. She emphasised the importance for African countries to re-think their positioning in today’s world while at the same time taking advantage of national potential in view of a rapidly changing world in which protectionist policies appear in several major countries. The Director of ITES, Mr. Hatem Ben Salem, deplored the fact that perspective studies were long neglected in Africa even though the lack of a long term vision undoubtedly hampers development. He hoped that participants would, going forward, contribute to the development of a perspective approach in their respective countries so that the continent could better plan its future.