About the Conference

The AERC Senior Policy Seminar XX

Theme: Regional Integration in Africa

African Economic Research Consortium (AERC) will be holding its twentieth annual Senior Policy Seminar (SPSXX) in Kampala, Uganda on March 12–13, 2018 on the theme Regional Integration in Africa, cohosted by the Bank of Uganda. AERC convenes an annual forum that provides high level African policy makers the opportunity to come together to dialogue on the results of research conducted by AERC and its affiliates, exchange policy experiences and interact with the researchers in an atmosphere of peers. The themes of these seminars are selected on the basis of topicality and contemporary interest to African policy making.

AERC Senior policy seminar provides an opportunity for policy makers and researchers to engage in uninterrupted deliberations on a set of important issues considered significant to policy making in Africa. The seminar format insulates the policy makers from pressures related to their responsibilities and, thus, creates an environment for lively professional discourse on the selected issue.

Aside from the specific aims of bringing researchers and policy makers together, the senior policy seminars are directly useful to AERC because they help identify research imperatives crucial to transforming Africa. They also improve prospects for policy involvement of the researchers and enhance AERC’s visibility in the policy community. Thus, the seminars highlight the growing capacity in the region for policy research and, on the whole, provide important feedback to AERC for its research and training programs.

Exchange of country-specific experiences is particularly important in these seminars. The policy makers are normally identified for their interest in policy research issues and the level of seniority in policy analysis and policy making. Policy makers report that they have found their experiences in the seminars very useful. The information exchanged helps them update their knowledge in current policy-oriented research and identify key issues relevant to their duties. Researchers are typically balanced between the Anglophone and the Francophone, and attendance by the Francophone policy makers is highly encouraged.

General Senior Policy Seminar Objectives and Outputs

The seminars have four aims:

• To identify key priorities for future policy-oriented research in sub-Saharan Africa.
• To provide an opportunity for policy makers and researchers to exchange experiences and views.
• To highlight the growing capacity in the region for policy research on these issues.
• To improve prospects for cooperative policy research between policy makers and researchers.

These are achieved in four ways:

• By synthesizing and disseminating the results of the latest international (particularly AERC funded) research in a format suitable for senior policy makers.
• By generating interaction between policy makers and AERC funded researchers on results.
• By encouraging sharing of experiences among policy makers on the lessons and details of macroeconomic policies oriented towards poverty reduction.
• By receiving feedback from policy makers on key current research issues.

The concrete outputs of the seminars are expected to be:

• Major input into AERC’s policy research agenda, through suggestions for key issues.
• Ideas for structures and methods to promote collaboration among policy makers and researchers, both within individual countries and across the continent.
• Wider dissemination of AERC materials to policy makers, and ideas for improving future dissemination to them.
• Proposals for follow-up through similar, research projects or other activities.

AERC researchers present syntheses of research results on the seminar theme and nominated policy makers participating in the seminars act as discussants, one for each paper that is presented. The presentations are followed by a floor discussion in which the policy makers share experiences and express their views on key issues for future policy research. Each session is usually chaired by a senior policy maker, usually with experience in the thematic area. A public/private sector policy round-table then winds up the activities for the day.

For more information about this workshop or AERC, please contact:

The Executive Director
African Economic Research Consortium (AERC)
Middle East Bank Towers, 3rd Floor, Milimani Road,
Tel: (254-20) 273-4150 / 273-4157
Fax: (254-20) 273-4173
Email: exec.dir@aercafrica.org or communications@aercafrica.org
Website: www.aercafrica.org