The African Economic Research Consortium (AERC), established in 1988, is a public nonprofit organization devoted to advanced economic policy research and graduate training in economics in Africa.Its objective is to strengthen Africa's capacity to manage its economies.
The special needs of the region require a flexible approach to improve the technical skills of local researchers, allowing for regional determination of research priorities. National institutions concerned with economic policy research are thus fortified, and ties between researchers and policy makers strengthened.
Through the Collaborative Master's Programme, AERC has graduated over 500 master's students from across the continent. There has also been support for doctoral studies in economics with the objective of enhancing African capacity in university teaching and higher level policy analysis.
There are currently four thematic research areas:
Poverty, income distribution and labor market issues
Trade, regional integration and sectoral policies
Macroeconomic policies, stabilization and growth
Finance, resource mobilization and investment.
Since 1988, AERC has given 340 research grants involving over 400 researchers in 22 African countries. The research outputs are internationally published and distributed to the academic and policy community.
The AERC also undertakes collaborative research, in partnership with African and non-African institutions, in order to bring constructive perspectives to problems such as poverty and income distribution; managing transition from aid dependence; explaining Africa's growth performance; comparing African and East Asian development experiences; and situating Africa in the world trade system.