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Seminar for Scholars, 2007

 August 29, 2007 - The Scaling-Up Program held a lunch seminar, inviting the JJ/WBGSP scholars who were interning at various international organizations located in Washington. All scholars are enrolled in the Masters Program in Economic Policy Management, PEPM, Columbia University. Twenty people attended the seminar, including scholars, members of the Steering Committee, and staff of the Secretariat. This event gave  the  

Participants of the Lunch Seminar for JJ/WBGSP Alumni, August 29, 2007

participants the occasion to meet and discuss their studies and internships, as well as their future plans after completing their degrees under the JJ/WBGSP.

The seminar was opened by Mr. Rakesh Nangia, Acting Vice President of WBI, welcoming all the participants. Mr. Nangia described how the Scaling-Up Program has been creating a “community of practice” by engaging both scholars and alumni in various activities. He also introduced a short training course the Program plans to organize in Japan in the coming years, where selected scholars will be invited to Japan to participate in a week course that includes interactive seminars and site visits. The main purpose of this course is to allow scholars to learn from Japan’s experience of its own economic development.

Left to right: Mr. Kamel Braham, JJ/WBGSP Scholarships Administrator, Mr. Masanori Matsuo, Advisor to the Executive Director: Japan, the World Bank, and Ms. Marie Des Neiges Grossas, JJ/WBGSP, Program Officer

The participants took full advantage of this face-to-face meeting to share thoughts with JJ/WBGSP management and Steering Committee members on various development topics in relation to the scholars’ internships as well as other issues regarding the JJ/WBGSP

Two scholars’ remarks are as follows:

Ishani Jeewika Abeyratne, Sri Lanka:

“Prior to enrolling at Columbia University, I have had ten years of experience working with both private sector and public sector. My latest position was Assistant Director, Department of Fiscal Policy, at General Treasury of Sri Lanka.

My internship assignment with the World Bank was to analyze the exchange rate data to find an appropriate exchange rate regime for the Cape Verde and also to predict how a new regime may affect their nominal exchange rate, real exchange rate, inflation and their competitiveness. My assignment was directly contributing to economic policy management of Cape Verde, and was directly supported by my knowledge acquired at the PEPM program. My internship definitely provided me with such an opportunity to put what I learned at PEPM program into practice in the real world.

As I have come to an end with PEPM and returning to my country to resume my duties for the betterment of my country, I will always remember the kind, generous support and the contribution of people of Japan, Government of Japan and the JJ/WBGSP. Without JJ/WBGSP I would not have gotten this wonderful opportunity and the network I gained. It was indeed beyond my dreams, and I’m very grateful from the bottom of my heart.”

Hamid Gibreel Alnour, Sudan:  

“Before commencing my study at Columbia University I worked over thirteen years at the Central Bank Sudan.

My summer intern was for Financial Sector Development, Africa Regional Department of the World Bank. I have participated in preparing a report on the implementation of the microfinance and currency projects for Sudan, and also a report for the Sudanese New United Currency Project.

My academic learning at Columbia and internship experience with the World Bank equipped me with knowledge and skills to work with economic reforms and structural adjustment, in the areas such as macroeconomic stability, efficient product and factors market, human resource development, and combating corruption and misuse of resources. I hope to do something through applying and sharing what I have learned under the JJ/WBGSP to provide and participate in any assistance for my people in Sudan, where the majority of its population are living under the poverty line.

To this end, I would like to express my profound sincere gratitude and appreciation to the government of Japan, the World Bank, and Columbia University for providing me with this great opportunity.”

There were scholars who worked for the region directly related to their home countries, as well as scholars who did their internships for the region besides their own. The Bank staff commented that while the former directly meets with regional expertise and awareness of the issues, the latter is equally valuable as there is a lot to learn from the differences between the regions.

JJ/WBGSP scholars, participants of the seminar

Left to right: Mr. Rakesh Nangia, Acting Vice President, the World Bank Institute, Mr. Masato Kanda, Alternate Executive Director of Japan, the World Bank, Ms. Ishani Jeewika Abeyratne, JJ/WBGSP Scholar from Sri Lanka

Mr. Masato Kanda, Alternate Executive Director of Japan, emphasized the importance of human capital in development. Mr. Kanda said that capacity development has been one of the top priorities of Japan’s development assistance, as was in its own experience where human capital played the key role during its economic development period. He also encouraged the scholars to take and work hard on their opportunities and challenges under the JJ/WBGSP.

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