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General Information

Establishment of a Training Institute

The Ethiopian Economics Association is planning to establish a training Institute that will provide graduate level and short-term training on a regular basis. The EEA has already considerable experience in delivering short courses. The proposal for a graduate school is a new initiative in accordance with the Association’s education and training mandate, and its current five-year Strategic Plan, which envisages making major investments in capacity-building in the public and NGO sectors.

The Federal Government of Ethiopia recognizes the need for substantial investments in human capital in order to fulfill its strategic initiatives, including the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP) 2010/11 – 2015/16. The country has enormous unmet needs for education and training including those in policy analysis, evaluation and public sector management. Successful implementation of government plans and strategies requires civil servants, policy advisers and NGOs to be led by individuals who can make informed, effective and critical use of economic and other social science tools of policy analysis.

The EEA owns a custom designed building which will be a superb facility for the envisaged graduate school. It has modern lecture theatres, class rooms, a library/resource centre, offices for academic and administrative staff, and a conference centre suitable for hosting public policy forums, which will be an important element in the work of the graduate school. It is regarded that the EEA is the right institution to be the venue for a new Ethiopian Graduate School of Development Economics.

Objectives of the EEA Training Institute

The basic aim of the training institute is to produce a professional pool of economists equipped with state-of-the-art knowledge and skills to make a difference in economic research, policy formulation and development practice in Ethiopia. This is expected to ensure sustainable institutional performance and development consistent with the growing demand in the country. It also aims to train policy practitioners to appreciate and make use of economic and other social science methodologies in its short term programs. Moreover it is expected to reinforce the training efforts of other higher learning institutions through horizontal cooperation.
The specific objectives of the institute are to serve:

  • as a centre of excellence for professional growth and career development of Ethiopian economists,

  • as a centre of dialogue and professional discourse on the countrys’ growth and development potentials as well as constraints that could be used by the policy making and implementation process,

  • the business community as a state-of-the art centre to build their capacity to make them succeed in today’s competitive and increasingly globalizing world,

  • the various stakeholders of EEA as a centre of excellence for demand driven and problem solving training and development needs, and

  • as a means to establish standards of performance for the economics profession and related occupations.

Justification

It is believed that a significant gap exists in the country in the field of economics teaching interms of quality, relevance, and quantity at post graduate level. While many of the universities that became operational recently have economics departments which offer courses at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels, it is strongly felt that they are characterized by a serious shortage of teaching staff both in number and quality. In addition, it is recognized that there is a shortage of policy advisors both in the public and private sectors. Such critical shortage will be compounded as the country transforms from agrarian to industrial and knowledge-based economy. For instance, specializations in industrial economics, financial and corporate economics, and institutional (development) economics are at best in meager   supply.

Since one of the major objectives the Ethiopian Economics Association is promoting economic knowledge in the country, it is ideally placed to contribute towards gearing this knowledge to contribute to development. It can also exploit its institutional capacity to create a center of excellence in the area of economic science at a post graduate level.

The following can be mentioned as the major justifications:

  • EEA combines research and training as it has already an institute proved to be competent in the area of socio-economic research.

  • The institute serves as a laboratory or as a practical training ground thereby filling the gap or mismatch between theory and practice.

  • EEA, as a leading organization of economists all over the country and abroad, it has the potential capacity to pool human resources and set quality standards for both public and private universities.

  • The association has already established a strong working relationship with many universities and research institutes including those outside the country. EEA has provided services to universities in the form of:

  • teaching courses,
  • advising graduate students,
  • serving as a member of examining boards,
  • providing short-term training to lecturers and postgraduate students,  and
  • making available  EEA’s publication for reference purposes.

EEA has more than 4000 members, including international and overseas Ethiopian members. It is anticipated that some of these members will offer courses in the graduate school and short-term programs; some will recommend the graduate school to colleagues and others,  and some will choose to be graduate students themselves.

EEA has a good track record in research, training and consultancy. As a result, it enjoys well deserved recognition from development communities including policy makers, business communities, civil society organizations, donors and the public at large.