The KDI School-Africa Development Bank (AfDB) partnership took another big step forward with both organizations co-hosting a workshop on ‘2018 Career Opportunities at the African Development Bank’ on November 21.
The key objectives of the workshop were not only to strengthen the partnership, established in 2014, but also to recruit eligible candidates to join the AfDB as intern. In other words, AfDB held this workshop to KDI School expects to gain from this partnership by providing professional growth opportunities to its students and AfDB gets to recruit fresh, passionate post-graduate students who meet their requirements with a background in development and policy reforms.
The current acting Associate Dean of KDI School, Professor LEE, Jinsoo, offered the opening remarks and welcomed the AfDB delegates – Mr. David Lubega – IT Specialist, Ezinwa Ifechulconde Emmanuel – Human Resources Officer, and the keynote speaker at the workshop, Ms. Choi Yuna, liaison at the AfDB-Asia Office located in Japan.
The 40 participants listened eagerly as Mr. Ezinwa laid out the multiple opportunities with the AfDB. Thereafter, the workshop was divided into three segments. First, there was an overview on the AfDB’s High 5s – Light up & Power Africa, Feed Africa, Industrialize Africa, Integrate Africa and Improvement of the quality of life for the people of Africa. This was followed by the outlining of the multiple career avenues at the AfDB such as its internship and young professionals programs. Lastly, there was a one-on-one consultation session with the three AfDB representatives to evaluate individual resumes and provide personalized guidance to students on the most suitable way to join the organization.
With its presence in 40 African member states and its recent expansion into Asia, the AfDB accommodates staff from 71 different nationalities, of which four are Korean nationals. In 2017, seven Korean interns joined the AfDB on short-term opportunities such as the annual internship program offered during the summer and winter breaks.
After a comprehensive introduction to the AfDB and its job openings, the floor was opened for a Q&A session. The questions ranged from concerns about the eligibility requirements to the development strategies applied by the organization. For example, for the KDI School students who do not yet have extensive working experience, the main concern was that apart from the internship program, all other postings required a minimum of two years’ work experience which automatically reduced their chances to join the AfDB. They were advised that candidates should first seek to build their careers outside the organization before joining it.
Mr. Ezinwa said, “I worked for the World Bank for almost 10 years prior to joining the African Development Bank.” This approach would help candidates to increase their chances of selection. Another concern was about the importance of Research and Development in Africa. Specifically, a student wanted to know how individual entities could help develop data for the continent which is critical for any development project.
Overall, the workshop was a success given the turnout and the fact that, despite the limited time, students eagerly sought consultations with the AfDB delegates. It could not have come at a better time for many of the participants who were preparing to take up new ventures as fresh graduates of KDI School in December. We hope many KDI Students were able to take advantage of such opportunities.
By Stella CONSELHO (2018 MDP, Mozambique)