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Chief Economist's Office

Under the leadership of the Chief Economist and Vice President, ECON pursues three main business lines:

Economics & Research

  • Selectivity: Research is anchored on the Bank’s strategic operational priorities and development challenges facing its regional member countries (RMCs).
  • Relevance: Research is responsive, policy-oriented and relevant, and informs decision-making in RMCs and Bank operations.
  • Value addition: Research enhances innovation and adds value to the Bank’s work and enhances its development effectiveness.
  • Partnerships and cost-effectiveness: Research generation and dissemination explores opportunities for synergy and partnerships, which contributes to cost-cutting and thus increases the returns to the Bank’s investments in research.

Statistics &  Data

  • Contribute to the effective development of RMC statistical capacity and systems for the provision of timely and reliable data for policy formulation.
  • Implementation and evaluation and monitoring of progress towards achieving Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and, Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSs).
  • Developing and managing databases on economic, social and development cooperation statistics in Africa in collaboration with RMCs and regional and international agencies (ECA, IMF, OECD, UN, World Bank, etc.).
  • Statistical Data Portal

African Development Institute

  • Delivering training activities on AfDB strategic issues.
  • Developing training materials (including the provision of distance learning modules) to support operations and policy design in RMCs.
  • Managing, processing, and dissemination of Bank knowledge products (KVRC) for the benefit of AfDB operations and African countries.
  • Organizing policy knowledge fora, such as the Annual Meetings Seminars, the African Economic Conference and the Eminent Speakers Conference.
  • Developing networks of experts, including alumni of the AfDB course participants with a view to develop and maintain a community of practice.

Our Mission

ECON’s vision is to be regarded by Bank staff and stakeholders as the best provider of information and knowledge products in Africa and for Africa.

Its mission is to provide statistical information, produce well researched economic knowledge products and engage in capacity building, training and dissemination in Africa. This is enhanced through collaboration within and outside the Bank.

ECON’s three Strategic Pillars in knowledge generation and sharing, are poverty reduction and MDGs; enhancing the competitiveness and productivity of African economies; and improving the quality of institutions and economic management.

The guiding principles behind this are that knowledge generated and disseminated by ECON must be anchored on the Bank’s strategic operational priorities and challenges facing RMCs; be responsive, policy-oriented and operationally relevant; show innovation and value-addition to the work of Operational Complexes; explore opportunities for synergies and partnership; be selective, efficient and cost-effective.

Knowledge products from research, statistics, and capacity building feed directly into Operations and RMCs, or indirectly through inputs into CSPs, ESW, PBL and portfolio-related work. For corporate strategy and knowledge, the main expected outcomes include institutional priorities (e.g. PRST/Board), long term strategies (e.g. Vision 2050), medium term strategies, and ADF Replenishments (e.g. PBA). For operational knowledge, the outcomes include country and sector knowledge, and Bank operational tools. For operationalizing and  knowledge sharing, the outcomes include servicing the Board and Senior Management, development effectiveness, and Bank outreach and advisory services.

In addition to conducting its own research, ECON supports and consumes the results of research conducted outside of the Complex, through collaboration and partnerships. ECON is pursuing internal networks across the Bank, external collaboration with global institutions (e.g. the WB and DFID) and regional institutions in Africa (e.g. UNECA, CODESRIA and ACBF), and collaboration with African-based universities and policy institutes, in producing the AEO and ADR or even endowment of ADB Professorships in economics. ECON is strengthening long-standing partnerships with institutions at the international, sub-regional and national levels in the area of statistics, and joint training and capacity building with training institutes based in Africa or at international bodies such as the WBI, IMFI, and WTO.

ECON’s dissemination strategy emphasizes wide dissemination of knowledge-based products within and outside the Bank. This includes the use of Regional Workshops; networks with key institutions in RMCs and non-RMCs; the Bank’s conferences and joint events with ECA, AU, OECD, WB and WEF; and electronic dissemination.

ECON and Knowledge Management in the Bank

ECON in its work emphasizes the linkage of the knowledge pillars to the Bank’s Corporate Strategy and institutional processes. Specific links to key operational instruments such as Country Strategy Papers (CSPs) and to processes such as the Performance Based Allocation (PBA), as well as links between the organizational units within the Complex are depicted and are critical to the success of its work.