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WAI Director General co-hots a Panel discussion at the 2018 PEGNet Conference, October 11, Cotonou, Benin

IMG 1485At the invitation of the Kiel Institute of World Economy (Institut für Weltwirtschaft), Germany, the Director General of the West Africa Institute (WAI), Prof. Djénéba Traoré, participated as a panelist at the Poverty Reduction Equity and Growth Network Conference (PEGNet) held in Cotonou, Benin, on October 11 and 12, 2018. The event was co-organized by the African School of Economics, the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Development (BMZ) and supported by KfW Development Bank and the University of Abomey-Calavi.

Under the theme: “Improving the quality of education and learning outcomes in developing countries", the Conference was part of the Mercator Dialogue on asylum and migration in Europe (MEDAM,

The purpose of the 2018 PEGNet Conference was to create a platform for key development practitioners, practitioners and policymakers to reflect on the determinants of poor quality of education and learning outcomes in communities. developing countries. In addition, the conference tried to provide solutions to these problems and answers to the following questions from the organizers:

  • What are the barriers and limitations to attaining high levels of education and learning in developing countries?
  • What role can governments and the private sector play in improving learning? Does outsourcing the provision of education to the private sector eliminate these challenges?
  • Are cash transfers that are conditional on educational outcomes effective?
  • How can scholarships be better awarded to ensure that poor and marginalized students and pupils have equal access to education?
  • How can learning outcomes be measured better in poor settings?
  • What incentives should be provided to increase the motivation and quality of teachers? Should teachers be regularly trained and tested to ensure that they do not fall behind national standards?
  • Can new pedagogical approaches such as e-learning technologies improve students’ learning outcomes? 

The round table on the theme: «Maximizing the development of internal migration on the African continent», was held on October 11,during a parallel session of the PEGNet conference and co-discussed by WAI Director General and Dr. Leander Kandiligefrom the
University of Ghana. The round table was organized by the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and MEDAM and chaired by Dr. Tobias Stöhr from the Kiel Institute. The exchanges were part of the Mercator Dialogue on Asylum and Migration in Europe (MEDAM).

Panel discussions focused on regional migration, migration policy in Sub-Saharan African countries and the role of the European Union.

Prof. Djénéba Traoré presented a contribution on the African Continental Free Trade AreaIMG E1479 (AfCFTA). The CFTA is the flagship project of the 2063 Agenda of the African Union. It aims to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of
businessmen and women and investments "and will cover the 55 countries of the continent with 1.2 billion inhabitants. An African passport and / or a biometric identity card should emerge, if the project is ratified by the required number of Member States.

According to UNECA (United Nations Economic Commission for Africa), this measure would boost intra-continental trade in a significant way and thus contribute to the economic development of the continent, to strengthen the economic empowerment of African women, to create jobs and thus reduce the high rate of unemployment and the waves of youth migration. to Europe. However, it must be underlined, that the majority of African migrants, approximately 20 million people, are to be found in Africa and many challenges and constraints must to be solved in order to implement the CFTA.


Prior answering questions from the audience, WAI Director General answered to the preliminary questions asked by Dr. Stöhr, including:

  1. 1.What would be the ideal implementation of “free movement” among CFTA signatories given the specific characteristics of the participants’ economies and societies?
  2. 2.What can be learned from free movement within ECOWAS and from other large integrated blocks such as the EU.
  3. 3.Does the EU with its focus on securing its outside border have a beneficial or detrimental influence on the potential development-enhancing effects of regional and continental migration policy making of African countries?
  4. 4.What can donor countries do to support regional integration for development among signatories and what detrimental policies should be avoided?

Here is the PowerPoint presentation of WAI Director General, entitled: African Continental Free Trade Area - AfCFTA: Objectives, Challenges, & Perspectives

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