"There is a financial crisis in the world, and we wanted to see how it affects East African countries in general and Kenya in particular, and what to do to minimize the damage," says GIMI president Joseph (Yossie) Shevel, an expert in economic development.
"We went through every department there and analyzed needs," says Shevel
Meetings were held with a variety of stakeholders, including the Kenya Power & Lighting company
, in order to better evaluate the courses that Kenya School of Monetary Studies
Topics included the pension policy of Kenya, as well as strategies for commercial banks.
faculty presented the Israeli model of the development of industries and small businesses.
The African visitors to Israel, Shevel
reports, were "amazed at the banking system in Israel.
They visited our Central Bank and other banks, and they want to implement some of what they saw here in banking and management methods."
Due to the success of the World Bank-sponsored project, GIMI
was asked to prepare a training program for all progressive central banks in East Africa -- Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda -- to be held in cooperation with the Kenya School of Monetary Studies
and the Central Bank of Kenya
This second phase, expected to last three years and eventually to include South Sudan, will begin in late 2013 and will be financed by the five countries' central banks.
Heading off a looming crisis
"We signed a memorandum of understanding with the Central Bank of Kenya to continue supporting them in capacity-building and analysis of training needs," says Shevel
In a separate project, GIMI
officials went to Nigeria's Central Bank
recently to meet with its management and identify several areas in which GIMI will devise special training programs.
"Nigeria has 170 million people and more than 6,000 employees in the Central Bank," Shevel
The challenges facing these African countries are inflation, soaring interest rates and difficulty attracting investors, he
The key to all these challenges rests in the hands of the central banks' policies.
And they trust the Israeli management institute to show them how to formulate their policies with the overall hope of getting more East Africans off the unemployment rolls.
"We can see there is about five percent [economic] growth in all five countries in the last five or six years -- a steady and permanent growth despite the financial crisis.
That is a good sign," says Shevel
However, a looming population explosion threatens to curtail that growth unless wise financial moves are made quickly.
"Everybody is very concerned that in the year 2050 the population in Kenya will be 100 million and if they don't plan well now, there will be chaos and democracy will be at risk," Shevel