The University of Zambia (UNZA) and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF) have today signed a grant of US$1,229,000 aimed at funding the economic policy management programme (EPM) for Zambia.
The money, which was provided by the ACBF is for training 110 students in EPM and seeks to promote the female ratio up to 40 percent and also provide short term training to 60 participants in order to provide an opportunity to build skills among mid-career public servants.
UNZA Vice Chancellor Stephen Simukanga signed on behalf his institution while ACBF Executive Secretary Emmanuel Nnadozie signed for his organisation.
Professor Simukanga said at the signing ceremony for the grant that the programme has scored enormous successes in the four years it has been running.
He said the university has so far trained over 160 students in economic policy management since 2008.
Prof. Simukanga said in 2012, the University of Zambia conducted a study to evaluate the impact of the programme on the skills of its graduates and their contribution to policy and decision making in their work.
He said the study revealed that the programme has delivered important skills to public sector staff.
And speaking at the same ceremony, ACBF Executive Secretary Emmanuel Nnadozie said the EPM programme was one of the courses that will pave way for better understanding of capacity requirements if Africa was to achieve the Africa 2068 plan which was launched by the African union recently.
Prof. Nnadozie said since its establishment in 1991, ACBF has been supporting policy centres with the objective to have most of the policy decisions in African countries being evident based policy research.
He said the ACBF has however realized that this could not be achieved without enhancing the capacity of the public sector hence the involvement of the education sector.
Prof. Nnadozie further said Africa is facing is a lot of challenges and needs to transform its natural resources in order to create jobs for its growing young population adding that resolving these challenges requires sound policies and advocacy beyond borders.
During the first phase in Zambia, the programme was able to train 166 students and 90 percent of the graduates who got promoted attributed their elevation to being a direct result of their EPM degree, which indicated recognition and value the employees place on this programme’s master’s degree.