Aug 25, 2009, 9:57 AM
The training course, which brought participants from the sub-region, is under way at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi.
In his welcome remarks, Ousman Sowe, who deputized the Director General of WAIFEM,acknowledged the ACBF for their unflinching financial support to WAIFEM over the years, and in particular toward the course.
Mr Sowe said WAIFEM is a collaborative sub-regional capacity building organization established in July 1996 by the central banks of The Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
In 2012, Guinea was admitted as an observer, he said, adding that the mission of WAIFEM is to develop, on a sustainable basis, the expertise required in the field of debt, financial sector and macroeconomic management among the staff of central banks, and the ministries of finance and economic planning.
Other public sector bodies such as financial and economic management responsibilities, the national parliaments, the mass media and relevant private sector agencies in the sub-region have since been brought into the target group of WAIFEM programmes, he added.
Since it commenced operations in 1997, the institute has executed 507 training and capacity-building programmes, which have benefited about 14,000 middle/senior executive level officials from the sub-region and beyond, Mr Sowe told participants.
“Today, WAIFEM is rated as a center of excellence in capacity building and training,” he stated.
In 2012, he added, the board approved the establishment of the Business Development Unit (BDU), which caters for the capacity needs of the private sector.
The synergies of both the public and private sectors are essential to the economic integration of the sub-region, he went on, adding that from June this year, WAIFEM would commence e-learning diploma and advance diploma programmes in banking supervision and public debt management, and would attract tuition fees.
Mr Sowe stated further that the role of the human resources manager in promoting development and poverty reduction could not be overemphasized.
“The paradox of grinding poverty cohabiting with abundant natural and human resources endowment is obvious for all to see in most countries in the West African sub-region,” he said.
According to Mr Sowe, the main objective of the course was to examine the role human resources management could play in organizational effectiveness and economic development.
Specifically, the course would prepare participants to appreciate the need for change management, organizational culture, as well as gender issues at the workplace, he said.
The course would reel out strategic and policy issues in human resources management and their linkages to national/ regional economic development, he continued.
In her official opening address, Oumie Savage-Samba, second deputy Governor of the Central Bank of The Gambia, commended WAIFEM for bringing such an “invaluable course” to The Gambia.
“Human resources management transcends the traditional functions to include planning, forecasting, deployment, performance management, knowledge management, developing and retaining the employees in order that talents and skills would be optimized,” she said.
She reiterated that capacity building refers to a deliberate effort by orgnizations, institutions, governments or corporate bodies to develop the productive capacities of their people through investment in education, training and skill acquisition to realize their development objectives.
“To remain in business and to cut a competitive edge, a company needs creativeand communication technology in ICT and be able to understand the operating environment, anticipate and influence dynamic change, formulate strategies, implement policies and monitor actions,” she said.
The CBG deputy Governor added that the main solution lies with a good educational background, particularly tailored to the needs of a technological and information age; ability to attract and retain the best people via e-Recruitment; installation of technology-enabled people management system; sustained capacity building in relevant areas; and promotion of team building to facilitate synergy, as well as sharing of knowledge and information.
She said HR development and the larger imperative of capacity building hold the ace for improved productivity.
She also urged the course participants to make use of the opportunity by tapping into the knowledge and experiences of the resource persons of the course.