Supporter of the Vi since 2006, the Government of Finland again granted an allocation - amounting at EUR 307'000 - to capacity building activities for Vi members in 2015-2016.
The funds will be partly used to support the Vi project on trade and gender implemented in cooperation with the Trade, Gender and Development Section of UNCTAD's Division on International Trade in Goods and Services, and Commodities. A larger portion will then be dedicated to teaching and research capacity-building services for Vi members in sub-Saharan Africa and the least developed countries.
After having published a teaching material and delivered an online course on the issue, the activities of the trade and gender project will focus on capacity building this and next year. Capacity building for researchers will specifically target sub-Saharan Africa. A regional workshop on methodologies used in trade and gender analysis will be organized in June 2015, and it will be followed by country case studies which the top graduates will develop with mentoring by international experts. Another edition of the online course on trade and gender for a broad audience of academics, policymakers and other stakeholders is then planned for early 2016.
In terms of capacity-building activities for sub-Saharan Africa and the least developed countries, the Vi will support adaptations of its generic teaching materials to the context of its members' countries ("localizations"), Vi fellowships and national professional development workshops for academics. Members have till 7 April to send in applications for these activities. For the time being, five localizations of Vi teaching material have been confirmed for funding: academics in Nigeria and Ethiopia will adapt the material on RTAs, academics from Uganda and Zimbabwe will work on the material related to commodities, and an academic from Cameroon will adapt the material on trade analysis to the context of his country.