The 3rd EPRN Annual Conference with the guiding topic, “Rwandan Economy towards the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 3 (EDPRS 3)” attracted around 500 stakeholders.
The Conference took place on January 26th at CBE (College of Business and Economics) in Gikondo, Kigali. An estimate of 500 policy makers, researchers, scholars, students, and other stakeholders in the field of economics convened Thursday 26th January 2016 to discuss the macroeconomic status and future prospects of Rwandan Economy.
The event was organized by EPRN through IPAR with support from GIZ and exceeded the organiser’s expectations with the high numbers of participation. In the closing Page session Prof. Thomas Kigabo, Chief economist at the National Bank of Rwanda and Chairman of EPRN announced that the 4th EPRN conference will take place in September of this year. The topic will be announced in March when the call for papers will be published.
“My vision for EPRN is to build up a pool of excellent economic policy researchers that can provide Rwanda with home-grown analysis and solutions. Events like this serve to encourage people, especially young people, to pursue a career in research and to keep improving their academic skills”, Prof. Kigabo Thomas said.
Dr. Hermann van Boemmel from the GIZ program, Macro-Economic Advice to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning (MINECOFIN) stated: “We are supporting EPRN as we think promoting collaboration between researchers and building their capacity is vital for the development of the country. This conference is one more step towards providing macroeconomic research MADE IN RWANDA that is capable of informing policy decision making.”
“We are excited to see such a big number of stakeholders, among them many students at our conference. This is proof that the work we are doing is relevant and it gives us confidence that our mission to sustainably strengthen economic policy research and analysis in Rwanda is on a good way to being achieved”, said Seth Kwizera, EPRN Coordinator.
Numerous independent researchers had followed the organizers’ call for papers for the topic “Rwandan Economy towards the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy 3 (EDPRS 3)”.
In total EPRN received sixteen papers and the top seven of them were presented and covered topics like, Determinants of nonmonetary poverty in Rwanda, “Economic structural transformation: From agriculture and primary sector to knowledge based economy and urbanization”, “The effect of foreign aid on the real exchange rate in Rwanda” and Rural development policies and investment in primary education: Farmers in Rwanda”.
The Economic Policy Research Network (EPRN) was created in 2008 with the aim to strengthen economic policy analysis and research capacities. It is an equal opportunity economic policy research platform. By bringing together key institutions, individuals and organizations active in or with an interest in economic policy research and analysis, EPRN creates a network for the stakeholders in the field and a pool of research skills needed for economic policy analysis.
Through trainings on quantitative research methods, research coaching and mentorship, work placements, learning tours and joint research projects, EPRN helps to build capacity and create evidence for economic policy development. In doing so, EPRN responds to economic policy gaps in Rwanda which are created mainly by a lack of quality and informative research and the challenge of human capacity in terms of limited numbers of economic researchers and active involvement.