The largest university in Togo today joined the UNCTAD Virtual Institute academic network. The membership of the University of Lomé (UL), further enhances the Vi's cooperation with institutions in the Francophonie, now numbering 19 universities and think tanks from 15 countries.

Contacts with UL date back to 2005 when a researcher from their Faculty of Economics and Management (FASEG), Anani Nourredine Mensah, attended the Vi's first regional workshop for Africa on commodities. Following his participation in other Vi workshops, a research project on mining and economic development in Western Africa, and the recent Vi online course on trade and poverty, he began the process of applying for institutional membership at the Vi.

Vi activities will be coordinated by UL's FASEG, which offers undergraduate programmes in economic analysis and policy, international economics and development economics, as well as Master's programmes in international economics and development economics. The faculty intends to develop a PhD research programme in this area. FASEG has also established a Centre for training and research in economics and management in order to foster basic and applied research, and provide advisory services in economics and management.

UL's cooperation with the Vi will be coordinated by Mensah, FASEG's first vice-dean in charge of academic affairs. Holder of PhDs in international economics and in money and finance, he teaches courses on microeconomics, international trade, and on natural resources and economic development. His main areas of research interest are commodities (phosphates, cotton, cocoa) and monetary policy.

Mensah will be joined by two other colleagues. Aimé Tchabouré Gogue, holder of a PhD in economics and teaching international economics, monetary economy, economic growth, economic development, and regional economy. His research covers trade in services, regional integration, and political economy of economic growth. Yawovi A. Kpedu, holds a PhD in public law and whose teaching and research focus on  international economic law and international institutions.

UL is ready to share its experience and expertise in quantitative methods related to trade policy and economic integration issues, and international trade law. They are interested in cooperation related to the development of courses and teaching materials, and hope to gain access to publications and sources of data that they could use in their research.

For more information, visit UL's university profile on the Vi website.