Workshop held at Taj ShebaManagement skills training: a new approach [Archives:2005/822/Community]

March 7 2005

By Peter Willems
For The Yemen Times

A workshop was held at Taj Sheba Hotel last week to pass on information and methodologies for business management training to trainers from different private sector institutions that provide business skills management training.

The workshop, which was held from Saturday to Wednesday, was carried out by The World Bank's International Finance Corporation (IFC). IFC, a member of the World Bank group, is the private sector arm of The World Bank.

As part of its technical assistance programs, IFC has developed a comprehensive training program, named Business Edge, and teams up with training institutions that want to focus on working with small and medium size companies in Yemen looking for assistance on improving their management skills.

“Our goal is to enhance the knowledge capacity of small and medium size enterprises in Yemen,” said Saad Sabrah, Business Development Officer and Resident Representative of IFC in Yemen.

“This is done through building the capacities of the local training companies and ensuring sustainability. We have established partnership agreements with more than one company and the Chamber of Commerce in Taiz, which provide business management training to local businesses in the private sector.”

IFC provides its partners with the Business Edge curriculum, which is based on a well-known text in business management divided into 38 workbooks.

“It is the curriculum of 38 workbooks that have been developed and maintained by IFC,” said Sabrah. “The majority has been translated into Arabic, and the entire package will be translated by June.”

Partners sign a one-year agreement with IFC, invest in an annual membership fee, pay for trainers to be trained and pay a fraction of the cost for the books. IFC, on the other hand, provides the training sessions for trainers – called Training of the Trainers (TOT) – contributes funding for marketing campaigns to pull in clients in Yemen's private sector and equips partners with training manuals that can be used to apply the material in Business Edge into adaptable training courses.

“At the end of the day, this is a profitable business for training institutes in Yemen because there is a high and obvious need for training the private sector in business management skills,” said Sabrah.

Partners that attended the workshop were the Chamber of Commerce in Taiz, CMT House and NIIT. Trainers from other institutes took part expecting to become partners in the near future.

“The Business Edge material is a big plus for us because it focuses on the small and medium size enterprises and the material is available in Arabic,” said Arco de Leede, Founder and General Manager of CMT House which was established in Yemen eight months ago and had three of its trainers attend the workshop.

“This material can really serve our customers. With the investment, we get very useful materials and our trainers are being trained for the skills that are needed. As a result, we can improve our services in our private institute a great deal.”

Rami Camel-Toueg, Head of Integrated Management Consultancy, came from Cairo to carry out training for local trainers. He is a Business Edge partner in Egypt and an IFC Contractor and Master Trainer of Business Edge.

“Training mainly focuses on the strategy of learning by doing,” said Camel-Toueg, who has been conducting workshops for trainers for six years. “The methodology of Business Edge is learned through activities, practice, self evaluation, role playing, and so forth.”

Camel-Toueg added that Business Edge is a useful tool because it has been adapted to the Arab business environment which will fit the needs of the trainers.

IFC bases its business management training plans on its Private Enterprise Partnership (PEP) program that has been providing technical assistance to private sectors in many countries around the world, such as China, Vietnam and Cambodia. It now applies its PEP program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, covering countries from Morocco all the way across to Pakistan.

IFC plans to hold another workshop with new partners in Sana'a in two or three months.