Retreat of the IDEP Technical Advisory Committee

From 31 October to 01 November 2018, the IDEP Technical Advisory Committee retreat was held in Dakar (Senegal) on the review of IDEP's training activities and research program. The purpose of this retreat was to bring together members of the Technical Advisory Committee, directors and resource persons of courses, ECA representatives, IDEP partners and high-level experts to evaluate training offers. IDEP, suggest accompanying measures that will maximize the impact of the training offer and develop a new catalog of training and research topics with a view to strategically repositioning IDEP in its offers to its beneficiaries.

The current training catalogue needs to be revamped in view of the radical change in the development paradigm. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063, which lay emphasis on new socio-economic development priorities, and the need to structurally transform the African countries’ economies, entail strategic changes with regard to capacity building needs of Member States and the need for IDEP to review this catalogue and its training approach. Training, which is the essence of IDEP’s mandate, is therefore required to accompany this programme change and develop synergies with the research component, which is also included in the Institute’s offer.

The opening ceremony was chaired by Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane, Director of IDEP, in the presence of Ms. Giovanie Biha, Deputy Executive Secretary of ECA, and the Representative of the Ministry of Economy, Finance and Planning from Senegal, Mrs. Debo Sow.

Ms. Karima Bounemra Ben Soltane clarified the purpose of the retreat, namely the revision of the IDEP training catalog for the coming years. She recalled that the idea of ​​organizing the retreat was a recommendation of the Technical Advisory Committee at the end of its last meeting held in early 2018. « The value of organizing a retreat on IDEP's programs at the moment is justified by the commitment of African countries to the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in accordance with the 2030 Agenda of the United Nations without forgetting the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Africa's involvement in other development initiatives is also an opportunity. Indeed, many African countries are engaged in regional and global agreements such as the Paris Climate Agreement, the Africa Mining Vision, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCTA), the Addis Ababa Action Program on Financing for Development, etc. » she added.

Ms. Biha spoke about the opportunity for African countries to seize the opportunities offered in a world in perpetual change. ECA as parent institution and IDEP should also seize these opportunities and address the issues of the day. She cited as an example the mobilization of resources to finance development. She emphasized major points: the need for capacity-building programs to operationalize the above-mentioned opportunities so that concepts such as structural transformation or economic diversification are not empty words; the role of development planning in the fourth industrial revolution; and the importance of going beyond training to ensure that IDEP trainees are able to really influence policy in their country.

Ms. Sow, on behalf of the Director General of Planning and Economy of Senegal, Mr. Pierre Ndiaye, thanked the Director of IDEP, for associating her institution with this event. She stressed the importance for IDEP to align with international requirements, but also the link that should exist between training and research to raise the IDEP label.

The retreat was attended by 35 delegates and representatives of intergovernmental organizations, as well as many resource persons, including directors of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), and representatives of ENDACACID, UNESCO OIF. An important element that was expected at the end of the retreat is the finalization of the IDEP Strategic Plan, which will be submitted to the Board of Directors for approval.

She dwelt on the issues related to IDEP's training offerings, debated and analyzed by members of the Advisory Committee (TAC), the Experts, and professors from institutions such as the University of Ngaoundere and the University of South Africa (UNISA), and the Training Division of IDEP. They carried out an evaluation of its training offerings of the institute, as well as the identification of the main priority areas of intervention for IDEP within the framework of the next strategic plan through group work sessions.

Some recommendations were made by the participants at the end of this important retreat. On issues related to IDEP's training courses, the updating of some course modules, the integration of new courses in relation to current challenges and accompanying measures that will optimize the impact of the training offer. They stressed the importance of the training and capacity building program as a driver of growth and structural transformation of the continent. In this framework, coherence between the international agendas (2030, 2063) and IDEP programs was highlighted.

« Today there are new issues that are emerging, economies are changing in the world but especially on the African continent and IDEP must take advantage of this momentum to position itself as the Institute that will offer training opportunities officials on these new developments that directly concern development issues.  » said Ms. Bouraoui Khouja Asma, member of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC).

This retreat was truly enriching in terms of ideas and allowed for a consistent consolidation of IDEP's training offerings. Proposals to improve and enrich it with new themes and modules related to development issues in Africa have been made.

Participants reaffirmed the need to continue to support IDEP in its repositioning as the N° 1 leader in Africa in the training of African managers. For more than 50 years, IDEP, through the mandate given to it by its member states through the United Nations General Assembly, has helped to significantly strengthen the capacity of civil servants and other government officials on the continent. Its training activities cover all sub-regions of the African continent and target all sectors related to economic and social development and their planning. 

At the end of this meeting, the Director of IDEP thanked all participants for their implications for the success of this retreat and invited them to continue the discussion on the repositioning of IDEP in relation to the 2030 and 2063 agendas.


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