The Virtual Institute, in cooperation with UNCTAD’s Division for Africa, Least Developed Countries and Special Programmes (ALDC), organized a second national professional development workshop for Vi core member, the University of the Gambia (UTG), June 8-10.
Delivered by ALDC's Bineswaree Bolaky and Laura Páez, the workshop introduced 58 participants from academia and the public sector to ways in which domestic resources mobilization could help foster economic development in African countries.
“The workshop has provided me with a new insight of what is happening within the African continent, especially what is hindering intra-African trade, and what needs to be done to encourage more investment in the continent,” said UTG lecturer, Mariama Trawally Sawo.
The topics covered included: domestic financial resources in Africa; ways of increasing public revenue and fiscal space in Africa; financial sector reform and promotion of productive investment; and remittances and capital flight.
“I got a clearer picture of the state of least developed countries, the Gambia inclusive,” a participant from UTG said. “I also had the opportunity to know how the Gambia is performing in terms of GDP and debt service, and how domestic resource mobilization could help solve the major challenges Africa is faced with.”
Lectures were accompanied by discussion sessions, and the workshop concluded with a joint press briefing by the UNCTAD team, UTG and the Coordinator of the Enhanced Integrated Framework National Implementation Unit.
Most participants said that the workshop had exceeded their expectations. According to their feedback questionnaires, they plan to use their new knowledge in teaching, research and their work for policymakers.
“Outside from being exposed to ‘outside the classroom’ economics, I was also inspired to embark on research, after presentations by the resource persons,” said one of the participants. “Their mastery of the subject matter was overwhelming.”
“The workshop has provided me with vital information on what the Gambia and Africa as a whole should give priority in order to register substantial and sustainable growth,” added Sawo. “This will be shared with my students, who will become in the future leaders of this continent.”