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ACBF- sponsored Master’s Degree program contributes to Africa’s reliance on homegrown banking and finance specialists

04 Aug, 2015

Since its inception 9 years ago, ACBF-sponsored Master’s Degree in Banking and Finance (MBF), from the Centre Africain d’Études Supérieures en Gestion (CESAG) in Dakar, Senegal, has produced more than 325 graduates who have gone to secure key positions in the continent’s financial and banking sector, helping Africa to rely more on homegrown banking and financial specialists than on external and western expertise. 

Wilfried Tamegnon, a CESAG alumni currently working as an investment officer in the Dakar Office of the International Financial Corporation said that the MBF had allowed him to play a key role in building financial markets in West Africa. He says that, two years after graduating, he joined the Regional Council for Public Savings and Financial Markets (CREPMF), the regulatory body of the West African Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU). “There I first led, on behalf of CREPMF, the development project of the regional financial market co-financed by the World Bank, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the French Development Agency (AFD). Later, I was promoted to senior manager of financial operations and regulation. In this capacity, I was responsible for all financial market operations in the 8 countries of the WAEMU.” 

Recognizing the importance of the MBF, Tamegnon decided to use his knowledge and skills not only for personal growth and advancement but also to help others build their skills and capacity in the fields of banking and finance. “I have remained attached to the program, doing my best to teach a module and invite international speakers to come and lecture the various classes,” he says. “I have also helped many to fit into their professional life. This is what most of the program’s alumni also do. I am sure that they will continue to support this wonderful training program.” 

For Venantio D. Wilson, another MBF graduate and currently a Regional Sales and Business Development Manager for west and central Africa at Arcelor Mittal, the program has helped him make an impact in the private sector, in the fields of metals sales. The program allowed him to be propelled “to a higher level in the profession, giving me a more upstream vision of the world of the steel industry, opening the doors of trading to me,” he says. “My role was not only to conclude contracts directly with customers, but also to serve quotations to international traders in metallurgical products on behalf of Arcelor factories based around the world.” 

Even following the loss of his job owing to a restructuring of then Arcelor, the skills acquired during his MBF years proved very useful. “I responded with my own start-up of international trading,” he says. “I used my relationships acquired on the international market of metallurgical products as sources to target niches of West Africa’s market of metallurgical products, namely mining companies and those that use construction steel with high added value.” 

Back now at Arcelor Mittal after spending a couple of years running his practice, Wilson still relies on his skills gained during his MBF years. “I am in charge of the development of export sales of ArcelorMittal’s products to West and Central Africa. The MBF training was a real catalyst in my professional growth.”

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Thomas Kwesi Quartey

ACBF has been granted the status of a specialized agency because of the potential to transform Africa through capacity development.

H.E. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, Deputy Chairperson, AU Commission
Erastus Mwencha

The recognition of ACBF as the African Union’s Specialized Agency for Capacity Development launches the beginning of a new era for capacity building by ACBF, which will require an appropriate level of political commitment and financial support from all stakeholders.

H.E. Erastus Mwencha, Chair, ACBF Executive Board
Lamin Momodou

The remarkable achievements ACBF has registered over the past 26 years is not by accident in our opinion. They have come through hard work, dedication, commitment, purposeful leadership, support from the member countries as well as productive partnership building.

Mr. Lamin Momodou MANNEH, Director, UNDP Regional Service Centre for Africa
Goodall Gondwe

Africa needs ACBF as much, probably more now, than at the time it was created in 1991.

Hon. Goodall Gondwe, former Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance – Malawi
Ken Ofori Atta

Ghana’s partnership with ACBF is a tremendous blessing for us and therefore the opportunity for Ghana to host the 26th ACBF Board of Governors Meeting is something that we treasure.

Hon Ken Ofori Atta, Chair of the ACBF Board of Governors and Minister of Finance - Ghana