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Third South-South Study Visit to Singapore on Skills Development for Sustained Growth in Africa

Begins:   Jun 21, 2009 
Ends:   Jun 27, 2009 


BACKGROUND | Purpose| Program| Outcomes 

Following the successful completion of two Study Visits to Singapore in 2006 and 2008, the Singapore government has agreed to host a third study visit during June 21-27, 2009 for African policy makers and private sector representatives from six countries (Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Tanzania)1. The study visit would complement related efforts by AFTHD to help advance the skills development agenda through multiple avenues. Noteworthy in this regard are recently-completed analytic work, in particular, “At the Crossroads: Choices for Secondary Education in Africa” and “Cultivating Knowledge and Skills to Grow African Agriculture,” both published in 2007; and “Accelerating Catch Up: Tertiary Education for Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa” published in 2008. All three flagship studies have provided a basis for the Bank’s policy dialogue with African policy makers.

In addition to the studies and the two study visits to Singapore, the recently concluded learning visit to India in February 2009 is also relevant. The visit enhanced participants’ understanding of the link between skills development and growth of a skills-intensive industry spawned by the revolution in information technology. Participants learnt how India leveraged the existing domestic talent pool, along with talent in the Indian Diaspora, to develop its Information Technology (IT)/Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry.

1 The study visit benefits from the financial support of the governments of Singapore and of Norway.


The third study visit to Singapore seeks to build on the previous two visits by shifting the focus from the supply of skills through the formal education and training system toward a more explicit consideration of the linkages to the demand for skills that arise from a country’s development strategy and the growth of industry and private enterprise. Its aim is to enable participants to gain a better understanding and appreciation of: (1) the holistic nature of successful skills- and knowledge-based development strategies, with examples drawn from Singapore and other Asian countries; and (2) the governance arrangements and strategic decision-making processes required for effective policy development, policy execution, policy coordination and policy re-evaluation for continued economic competitiveness. The study visit will target about 65 participants with a mix of profiles, as follows:

  • Country participants would comprise leadership-level policy makers with a mandate for economic management, complemented by line ministry officials and private sector representatives; and
  • World Bank counterparts would comprise Africa Region country directors, sector managers and task team leaders various Departments, including Human Development; Finance and Private Sector Development; and Public Sector Reform and Capacity.


The program will draw mainly on Singapore's development experience and the role played by human capital to support a strategy for knowledge- and skills-intensive growth. It will also draw on the experience of Asian countries to reveal how countries in the region have managed the short term demands for skilled labor, matching existing talent (such as they are) to market demand and taking a skills portfolio and value chain approach in thinking about skills gaps; and how they have also pursued in parallel a long-term strategy to strengthen the talent pool and pipeline for future needs. Some of the examples that will receive attention include the following:

  • Singapore’s world class transportation infrastructure system to foster export growth;
  • Singapore’s leadership in the manufacturing of oil rigs and drilling equipment;
  • Singapore’s world class integrated education system as a long-term strategy for climbing the technology ladder and for assuring resilient development;
  • Singapore’s frontier technologies (e.g., green buildings; water management; etc.);
  • The Philippines’ experience in developing its animation industry to global standards of excellence;
  • The experience of India's Andrah Pradesh state in leveraging information technology (IT) to build its world class capabilities and competitiveness in the IT/IT-enabled services industry; and
  • Malaysia’s global presence and competitiveness in the palm oil industry.


Participants will be given the opportunity to:

  • Reflect on the key lessons from the event and their implications for skills- and knowledge-based development strategies in their own country;
  • Use the lessons learnt to articulate or refine an appropriate country action plan for follow up after the study visit;
  • Network with other participants; and
  • Establish and develop contacts with Singapore counterparts for potential post-study visit collaboration in areas of mutual interest and benefit.

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Program Agenda: Download

Day 1

Program Overview (PDF, 0.2MB)
Mr David Ma, Lead Facilitator, Civil Service College
Program Introduction (PDF, 1.6MB)
Jee-Peng Tan, Adviser, Human Development Africa Region, World Bank

Introduction to the Singapore Public Service (PDF, 0.2MB)
David Ma, Lead Facilitator, Civil Service College

From Third World to the First – Singapore’s Economic Development Strategy (PDF, 3.0MB)
Mr Kelvin Bryan Tan, Deputy Director, Economics & Strategy Division, Ministry of Trade & Industry

Dialogue Session with Mr P Y Hwang, Former Chairman for Economic Development Board of Singapore

Day 2

Harnessing Information Technology for Efficiency
Learning Journey to CrimsonLogic: Presentation (PDF, 2.0MB)
By Mr Leong Peng Kiong, Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonLogic

Promoting Industry Development through Skills Development
Learning Journey to Shatec Institutes: Presentation (PDF, 3.8MB)
By Dr. Steven Chua, President & Chief Executive, Shatec Institutes

Dynamic Governance: Embedding Culture, Capabilities and Change (PDF, 0.1MB)
By Professor Neo Boon Siong, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy & Fellow, CSC

Skills and Capabilities for Economic Development: Singapore’s Experience
- Mapping the economic strategy to key reforms in education and training over 40 years
- Strengthening the talent pool for knowledge intensive growth: the role of maths education

Chair: Mr Wee Heng Tin, Former Director-General for Education, Ministry of Education
Panel Speakers: Mr Ooi Inn Bok, Director (School of Design), Nanyang Polytechnic
Asst. Prof. Yeap Ban Har, Mathematics & Mathematics Education, National Institute of Education

Day 3

Presentation of Malaysian Palm Oil Industry
By Dato Azhar Abdul Hamid, Executive Vice-President, Plantations and Agribusiness Division, Sime Darby

Presentation on Philippines Animation Industry
By Ms Grace Dimaranan, Board Member Animation Council of the Philippines

Land Use Planning to Drive Economic Development
Learning Journey to Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA): Presentation (PDF, 1.2MB)
Hosted by Mr Wong Kai Yeng, Group Director (URA Consulting), URA

Creating a Competitive Advantage
Learning Journey to Port of Singapore Authority (PSA): Presentation (PDF, 7.5MB)
Hosted by Ms Wong Fong Tze, Vice-President, Corporate Communications, PSA

Developing a Technically Skilled Workforce
Learning Journey to Institute of Technical Education (College East)
Hosted by Dr Law Song Seng, Senior Advisor, ITE

Day 4

From Third World to Third Wave in Andhra Pradesh: An Indian Success Story
By Randeep Sudan, Lead GICT Policy Specialist, World Bank

Skills & Knowledge Based Development: Synthesis, Policy Lessons & Relevance to Africa (PDF, 5.6MB)

By Shahid Yusuf, Economic Advisor, World Bank

Learning Journey 4a - Embedding a Systems Approach to Skills-Based Industrial Development
Learning Journey to Jurong Island, a Petrochemical Complex

Learning Journey 4b – Leveraging Talent to Climb to the Technology Ladder
Learning Journey to Keppel FELS , a World Class Manufacturer of Oil Rigs

Day 5

From Vision to Results: A Case Study
- PUB Water Story
- Tour of Marina Barrage

Round Table Session - Country Representations
- Kenya

Background Materials

Background Papers and Links

Additional Readings

Links to the website of the Companies (Brief on Learning Journeys )

Links to Previous Education Study Visits to Singapore

The Africa Human Development Department has developed a series of study visits to Asia to create a platform for African policy makers to engage in dialogue on the topic of Skills, with their Asian counterparts. The study visits thus far have included the following: Singapore and Vietnam in 2006; Singapore in 2008; and India (Mumbai, Hyderabad and Banglore) in Feb 2009. The results from these visits can be found in the web addresses indicated below.


Country Deligations | World Bank Counterparts | Speakers 

GhanaHEM Harruna Iddrisu Minister for Communications
Hon. Fifi KweteyDeputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning
HEM. Dr. J.S. AnnanDeputy Minister for Education in charge of post-basic and tertiary education
Mr. Daniel Baffour-AwuahExecutive Director, Council for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (COTVET)
Ms. Rose Adzoa TsorheyDeputy Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry
Nana Osei BonsuDeputy director, HR Skills Devpt and training IT enabled services, Ministry of Communication
MozambiqueHEM Victor Bernardo Viceminister, Ministry of Planning and Development
Dr. Carlos SimangoAdvisor of the President of Republic of Mozambique on economic development issues
Mr. Celso XerindaMICT Manager for the Technological incubation center
Mr. Claudio Bambia MassingarelaHead of Dpt, national directorate of studies and political analysis, Ministry of planning and dvpt.
Mrs. Odete TsambaGeneral Director of Institute for small and medium entreprises, Minsitry of industry and commerce
KenyaHon. Aden Ahmed Sugow Asst. Minister, Ministry of State for Public Service
Mr. Titus NdambukiPermanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Public Service
Mr. Paul KukuboCEO/ICT Board
Mr. Andrew MondohDirector of Administration, Office of the Prime Minister
Mr. Khasiani KubaiDeputy Director, Budget Supply Dept. Office of Deputy Prime Minister and Ministry of Finance (Treasury)
NigeriaHE Mrs. Hajjia Aishatu DukkuMinister of State
HEM Hassan Oladimeji Ali (Ladi)Executive Governor, Kwara State
HEM Jide SanwooluHon Commissioner, Establishments, Training and Pensions, Lagos State
HEM Femi HamzatHonorable Commissioner, Science and Technology, Lagos State
Gerald C. IlukweCEO Galaxy Backbone Plc, Office of the Secretary to the Government of Federation, Presidency
Emeka OkaforPresident of Interra Networks, Nigerian call center operator
Mr. Nuru YakubuExecutice Secretary, national Board for Technical Education
Mr. Musa Umar YashiDirector, Education (Policy Planning, Management & Research)
RwandaMrs. Marceline MukakarangwaPermanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Service and Labor
Mrs. Molly RwigambaDirector Capacity building & skills development, Private Sector Federation
Mr. Jean de Dieu GatabaziDirector General of the Workforce Development Authority
TanzaniaHon. Prof. Peter M. Msolla Minister of Communication, Science and Technology
Mrs. Celestine GesimbaDeputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Vocational Training
Mrs. Christine KilinduExecutive Director, Confederation of Tanzania Industry

World Bank Counterparts

World Bank


Yaw Ansu
Sector Director, Human Development, Africa Region
Christopher ThomasSector Manager, Education Sector, Africa Region
Hinh Truong DinhLead Economist , Development Economics Vice President's Office
Eunice Yaa Brimfah DapaahSr. Education Specialist


Carlos A. RojasSr Education Specialist
Tazeen FasihEconomist, Human Development Network


Connie Musabi MuteshiPrivate Sector Development Specialist
Giuseppe IarossiSr. economist, Finance and Private Sector Development, Africa Region
An Thi My TranEducation Specialist, HD East Asia



Peter Nicolas MateruSr Education Specialist
Marito GarciaLead Human Development Economist
Ismail RadwanSr. Private Sector Development Specialist
Olatunde Adetoyese AdekolaSr. Education Specialist



Michel WelmondLead Education Specialist
Paul KayobokeCharge d’Affaires, Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda
Lewis Kabayiza MuraraPublic Sector Management Specialist
Amadou DemEconomist, Finance and Private sector development
Kene EzemenariSr. Economist, Povety Reduction


Arun JoshiSr. Education specialist
Denis Maro BisekoSr Public Sector Specialist



Jee-Peng TanAdviser, Human Development
Kaoru Nabeshimaconsultant, Human Development
Derek ChenEconomist, Human Development
Petra RighettiConsultant in Education, Human development
Nadège NouvialeProgram Assistant, Human Development


Dato' Azhar Abdul Hamid Executive Vice President, Plantations and Agribusiness Division, Sime Darby
David Ma Lead Facilitator, Civil Service College
Grace Dimaranan Board Member of the Animation Council of the Philippines
Kelvin Bryan TanDeputy Director, Economics & Strategy Division, Ministry of Trade & Industry
Law Song SengSenior Advisor, ITE
Leong Peng Kiong Chief Executive Officer, CrimsonLogic
Neo Boon Siong Professor, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy & Fellow, CSC
Peng Yuan Hwang Former Chairman for Economic Development Board of Singapore
Randeep Sudan Lead ICT Policy Specialist, World Bank
Shahid Yusuf Economic Adviser, World Bank
Dr. Steven Chua President & Chief Executive, Shatec Institutes
Wong Fong TzeVice-President, Corporate Communications, PSA
Wong Kai YengGroup Director (URA Consulting), URA

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Getting Ready for your Trip to Singapore

  • Visa to enter Singapore
  • Vaccination
    (for all participants in the SSLV)
  • Air Tickets to Singapore
  • At the Airport in Singapore
  • Hotel
  • Dietary Restrictions
  • Attire

Other Information about Singapore

  • Geography
  • Economy
  • People and Languages
  • Climate
  • Currency
  • Banking and exchange facilities
  • Credit / Debit Cards
  • Electrical Supply
  • Flight Information
  • Postal Services
  • Telecommunications
  • Public Transportation
  • Air-conditioned Taxis
  • Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
  • Public buses
  • Tax Free Shopping
  • Drinking Water

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