New doctoral programme in economics

19 August 2002
THE AFRICAN Economics Research Consortium (AERC) in Nairobi, Kenya, has selected UCT as the host institution for an innovative PhD programme, designed to train African economists at the highest level to support economic development on the continent.

The announcement follows a recent visit by the AERC's Professor William Lyakurwa and Jennifer Mpungu to UCT, during which they met with Professor Doug Pitt, Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, and Professor Murray Leibbrandt of the School of Economics, among others. The AERC, established in 1988, is a public not-for-profit organisation devoted to advanced policy research and training in Africa.

The Consortium works closely with key funding institutions such as the African Development Bank, the United Nations, the World Bank and the former Organisation of African Unity (OAU).

The new doctoral programme will be delivered through a combination of coursework and thesis, reported Pitt. Students will attend some lectures at UCT, and supplement this with work at a still-to-be-designated central facility in Africa where they will take elective courses delivered by internationally acclaimed staff.

In turn, their thesis work will be supported by a series of continent-wide interactions between students and supervisors from UCT, three other African host universities and another four African degree-awarding institutions. One objective of the programme is to encourage peer interaction between students from different countries in Anglophone and Francophone Africa, noted Pitt.

"An obvious feather in UCT's cap, this programme is clear recognition of the University's excellence in the field of economics. It will provide a unique opportunity to make a serious contribution to African economic development at this exciting time with the launch of NEPAD [New Partnership for Africa's Development] and the AU [African Union]," he said. "The Commerce Faculty is delighted to announce this innovative opportunity demonstrating as it does UCT's continuing and growing reputation on the continental and international academic stage."

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