Two fellows from the Vi member university in Dakar successfully completed their one-month stay at UNCTAD focusing on research projects and support to the university’s upcoming Masters programmes.
Supported by the government of Finland, the Vi introduced one-month fellowships for academics from developing countries aiming to strengthen the teaching and research capacity on trade in Vi member universities. After a first group of fellows from the University of Dar-es-Salaam in May 2006, two researchers/teachers from the Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar, Ibrahima Thione Diop and Malick Sané, spent one month at UNCTAD in September.
The University of Dakar is currently building a trade research team and in this context, the fellows worked each on a specific research projects during their stay, one on the strategy to cope with upsurge in poultry imports to Senegal, and the other on the determinants of foreign direct investment to WAEMU countries. Additionally, they advanced with the preparation of Masters programmes under their responsibility, namely the Masters in International Trade and Trade Negotiations, and the Masters in Rural Economy, which will be launched shortly by the University.
The fellows also benefited from their stay to establish contacts with a range of international experts from UNCTAD, WTO and ITC working in the area of trade and development. In addition to the Vi, UNCTAD’s Trade Division and the Investment Division provided staff to support the fellows in their work. A part of the fellowships was also the opportunity to participate in the joint UNCTAD/WTO/ITC professional development workshop on tools and methods for trade and trade policy analysis organized by the Vi, and to attend the WTO Public Forum 2006.
At the end of their stay, the Vi organized a meeting with the Permanent Mission of Senegal in Geneva to discuss and evaluate the organization and outcome of the fellowships. "I particularly appreciate getting familiar with trade databases and software, which will allow me to design practical cases for my students", said Ibrahima Diop. The stay also made it possible for the fellows to advance with their research projects and gather ideas from the Mission for linking research activities of the new trade team at the university to policy making in their country.