• Organization TypeInstitute
  • HeadquartersMorocco

African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD)

The African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD) is a Pan African intergovernmental organization, established in 1964 by African governments, with the support of UNESCO; making it the first uniquely Pan-African training and research center in the continent for the improvement of public administration and governance systems in Africa. Its headquarters is located in Tangier (Morocco). Membership is open to all African countries: at present, CAFRAD has a membership of 36 States. Between the mid 1960s and 1970s, various national schools and institutes of public administration as well as staff colleges were created to train civil servants in different fields. However, African states have found that in order to develop top administrators, it was necessary to supplement such facilities that already exist with regional centres. To fill this gap and to advance the professionalization of public administration in Africa, the African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD) was set up. A guiding principle in the performance of this function, however, was that CAFRAD.s activities should support rather than replace services in the field offered or capable of being offered by national institutes. More importantly, the reason of creating CAFRAD, as recognized by its founding fathers and confirmed by subsequent experiences, was the very preponderance of French-and British-inspired administrative systems in the African region presented both a challenge and a potential training and research resource which a regional centre such as CAFRAD could exploit in the service of more informed and, therefore, more effective public administration in the countries of the region whatever the administrative tradition. Whereas similar problems have been met with similar institutional responses across the anglophone-francophone line, the view and the experience have been that there is something to be said for creating a forum in which francophones, anlgophones, lusophones and arabophones could compare notes on the achievements and difficulties, taking into account all other relevant but not necessarily similar factors. CAFRAD.s overall objective is to provide such a forum where senior administrators from all traditions could come to compare one other.s experiences and draw their own conclusions about what can or ought to be done differently in their own systems and approaches, whenever these have seemed necessary, possible or desirable. p> History of CAFRAD The history of CAFRAD began with the 12th Session of the General Conference of UNESCO held in 1962 when Morocco led 10 other African states (Algeria, Cameroon, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Tunisia) in presenting a Draft Resolution requesting UNESCO to assist in the creation of a regional centre, as an instrument of inter-African cooperation in the development of public administration on the continent. CAFRAD was established on 13 May 1964. In December 1967, a Permanent Multilateral Agreement was signed by 11 member states. At present, CAFRAD has 38 member states. Under the terms of the agreement, the Centre became an African regional institution with its membership open to all African states and hosted by the Moroccan Government. According to this agreement, the objectives of CAFRAD were defined as follows: - to undertake, promote and coordinate comparative studies and research on administrative problems connected with social and economic development in Africa; - to organize scientific meetings, seminars and in-service training courses for high-ranking African officials from the public and private sectors who play a significant role in their countries' development; - to compile, analyze and disseminate documentation on the structure, organization and administrative methods of the different African countries; - to publish appropriate materials; - to act as host and scientific liaison for the particular benefit of institutes and schools of administration, universities and, more generally, any other agencies, whose activities come within the scope of the Centre.s competence. In addition, CAFRAD was to provide African governments with consultancy services to assist them in developing their administrations. Activities Since its inception, CAFRAD was able to set up a series of staff development activities for officials at the highest levels of the public sector and, to some extent, from the private sector, who, for a number of reasons, could not be exposed to new ideas at home. By bringing together senior administrators with their counterparts from other parts of Africa, CAFRAD has enabled them to share experiences and exchange views on vital policy problems across national and cultural barriers. CAFRAD.s performance record in the field of training indicates positive quantitative results. During the 40 years of its existence, CAFRAD has mounted over 300 seminars and workshops, bringing together heads of institutions, senior administrators and others, at national and transnational levels. Each training activity was attended by 20-25 participants and lasted from three to ten days. Programmes covered a wide range of broad areas. At the beginning, the focus was on human resource development, training of trainers, top management, rural and urban development, administrative reform, management of public enterprises, project management, decentralization, capacity development of African women in decision-making and policy analysis. But at present, the training focuses on leadership capacity development, good governance/e-governance capacity building, ICT, electoral administration, performance measurement and evaluation, conflict resolution and peace-building, mainstreaming ethics and professionalism in the public service, policy and knowledge exchange, capacity-building in support of state governance and reform implementation and networking, knowledge management. CAFRAD has also provided a platform for the Directors of Schools and Institutes of Public Administration and Management in Africa since 1983 to meet once every two years to address subjects of common interest and challenge. The conference has provided collaboration and partnership in curriculum development and institutional capacity-building. CAFRAD, in collaboration with the United Nations Department for Economics and Social Affairs (UNDESA/DPADM) also initiated in June 1994 the Pan African Conference of Ministers of Civil Service. This conference has been institutionalised and is now held once every three years to share views on a priority theme of concern.. In the field of research, CAFRAD has made a modest contribution. Its research strategy is that of .joint project., such as its collaboration with CODESRIA in an integrated urban and rural development research project and with the Institute of Social Studies (ISS) in The Hague (The Netherlands) in the area of administrative reform conducted in the Sudan and Liberia. CAFRAD also administered and monitored for one year a research grant sponsored by the International Institute for Communication and Development (IICD) (Holland), the Technical Centre for Agricultural and Rural Cooperation (CTA) (Holland) and the International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) (Canada). The research was on Gender and Agriculture in the Information Society (GENARDIS) supporting innovative activity that contributed to the understanding and application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in gender, agricultural and rural development in Africa, the Caribbean or the Pacific. The research resulted in the publication of nine studies from Benin, Chad, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Jamaica. CAFRAD, on its own, also undertakes research and in this regard, the Centre completed a national survey of public administrations in Africa covering countries. Some published research included the Transparency of Public Administration in Africa and the Role of Women in Public Administration in Africa. CAFRAD launched a research project on Local Governance and ICTs Research Network for Africa (LOG-IN Africa) funded by the International Development and Research Centre (IDRC) (Canada). LOG-IN Africa is an African network of researchers and research institutions from nine countries: Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. It will assess the current state and outcomes of e-local governance initiatives in Africa, and in particular how ICTs are being used to realize good local governance at four levels: a) the internal organization processes of local governments; b) the provision of information and service delivery; c) the promotion of the principles of good governance; and d) public participation and consultation. In the field of consultancy, CAFRAD has been responding, within its means, to various ad-hoc requests from African governments for specific assistance. A Directory of African Experts/Consultants in Public Administration and Management has been published with the aim of facilitating the employment of qualified and competent Africans in consultancy work in Africa and stimulating demand for their services. The Centre participates in .public tenders. called by international donors in the area of its competence, in partnership with regional and international public and private institutions. CAFRAD has completed (December 2004) a study for the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) on the .Evaluation of the Governance System in the Kingdom of Morocco. In the field of information, CAFRAD developed itself from a modest Documentation Unit to become as from the year 2002 the Online Regional Centre for Africa to collaborate in the United Nations Online Network of Public Administration and Finance (UNPAN). CAFRAD, as UNPAN ORC performed well in the period 2002-2004, but for the future, CAFRAD is to consolidate UNPANCAFRAD e-Information Management System and contribute to the implementation of UNPAN to subregional and national levels in Africa. At the same time, CAFRAD being a pan-African institution that operates in three languages (Arabic, English and French) has clear responsibility to serve as an effective bridge between linguistic and regional divides in Africa. In the area of publication, CAFRAD published serials and occasional documents, the Journal of African Administrative Studies, published twice per year, studies and documents concerned with the publication of research monographs and proceedings of seminars, workshops and conferences, and the CAFRAD Web Newsletter. CAFRAD has always been sensitive to women and gender issues and has been following with keen interest the various shifts in paradigms of development where changes affected the role of women in developmental efforts. At the beginning, when the approach was for the role of women in development as abovementioned, CAFRAD organized a regional seminar on Women in Decision-Making in Africa and conducted a research study on the place and role of women in African administrations. The research was published in three volumes covering 16 countries: Benin, Cameroun, Chad, Côte d.Ivoire, Egypt, Gabon, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Morocco, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Tunisia. When the paradigm shifted from the role of women in development to the empowerment and gender approach, CAFRAD participated in various international meetings on gender and development and in regional workshops on developing indicators for the economic empowerment of women in Africa. However, because of various circumstances and some expressed needs by our Member States for certain priorities in public administration, CAFRAD did not develop a gender programme except presently when the Centre was solicited to participate in GEWAMED project. With regard to water resources, CAFRAD.s work programme 2003/2004 included the organization of a Workshop on Managing Water Resources for sustainable development in Africa, but because of lack of funding, till today this activity did not materialize.
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Staff at African Training and Research Centre in Administration for Development (CAFRAD) have experience in


  • development
  • tertiary education
  • planning / policies / institutions
  • education policy
  • strategic planning


  • commonwealth secretariat


  • ghana


  • managerial experience

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Company Offices

  • Morocco (headquarters)
  • Tetouan
  • CAFRAD Bd. Mohammed V, Pavillon International Tanger