20 January 2016, Geneva, Switzerland – An Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) mission consisting of H.E. Dr. Sid Ould Tah (Director General) and Mr. Mohamed El Aïchouni (Head, Technical Assistance Division) visited UNITAR’s Headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland on 20 January 2016. The Director General of BADEA and the Executive Director of UNITAR signed an aide-mémoire outlining their cooperation strategy.

BADEA and UNITAR Partner to Build Capacity for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan AfricaThe purpose of the visit was to review the results from the regional training programme on microcredit in Africa implemented by UNITAR with the support of BADEA in 2015 and to finalize the joint training programme to be implemented from 2016. The mission was received by the Executive Director of UNITAR and UN Assistant Secretary-General Mr. Nikhil Seth.

In 2015 UNITAR successfully trained 67 officials from 35 different Sub-Saharan African countries which are not members of the League of Arab States on microcredit management with the support of BADEA. Three two-week intensive courses were held in Saly (Senegal) for francophone countries, Arusha (Tanzania) for anglophone countries, and Praia (Cabo Verde) for lusophone countries. Senior international experts with in-depth practical experience of microcredit management led the courses. High level guest experts from government, academia and the private sector made thematic presentation and enriched the deliberations. The courses proved to be highly effective, with participants reporting significant increases of knowledge of up to 40% through the pre- and post course self-assessment tests administered by UNITAR.

Building on this very fruitful partnership and considering the recommendation made by experts and participant of the 2015 programme the Heads of BADEA and UNITAR agreed to collaborate with a view to help African countries build capacity in the area of sustainable and inclusive economic development. Specifically, the new programme will focus on the thematic clusters of trade and regional integration, private sector development, and project management.

BADEA and UNITAR Partner to Build Capacity for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth in Sub-Saharan AfricaOver the next 12 months UNITAR will organize preparatory seminars to take stock of good practices and secure government support for the new programme, implement training of trainers workshops to build local training capacity, and create a network of trainers/experts and an Internet based programme portal to promote cross-regional dialogue and networking. A total of 135 officials and experts are expected to participate in these activities which make up phase I of the programme.

About The Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA)

The Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA) was created in 1974 by eighteen Arab countries members of the League of Arab States for the purpose of strengthening economic, financial and technical cooperation between the Arab and African regions and for the embodiment of Arab-African solidarity on foundations of equality and friendship. For more information about BADEA please see http://www.badea.org/.

Photos: Visit of BADEA Director General on 20 January 2016.