Opening of COFEB, October 10, 1977


The West African Center for Banking Studies and Training (COFEB) was established in 1977 by the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO) to train its own executives to support the Africanization process. The Center’s mandate was gradually extended to include capacity building for civil servants in the public administrations of the WAEMU Member States, executives of credit institutions operating in the Union and staff of other central banks in French-speaking African countries. 

At its inception, COFEB was placed under the supervision of the Directorate in charge of training at the Central Bank of West African States and was subsequently given the status of a Directorate and more recently a Directorate General, thereby increasing its autonomy. 

A few key dates

October 1971: The BCEAO training center in Abidjan was supplemented by the Technical Application and Advanced Training Center (CATEP), whose purpose was to train the Bank’s executive staff over a two-year period.
August 5, 1977: The West African Center for Banking Studies and Training (COFEB) was established by Decision No. 32/77 of the Governor of the BCEAO.
October 3, 1977: Opening of the West African Center for Banking Studies and Training (COFEB)
March 1, 1978: Decision by the Governor to create four (4) departments within the Professional Training Directorate: a teaching department, a retraining department, a competitive examinations and admissions department and a department responsible for the administration of the West African Center for Banking Studies and Training (COFEB). 
March 10, 1980: Decision by the Governor establishing the Advanced Banking and Financial Studies Diploma for senior management trainees and the Banking Techniques Diploma for middle management trainees. These diplomas have been recognized as equivalent to a specialized graduate degree (D.E.S.S.) in banking management and a two-year technical degree (B.T.S.) in banking management, respectively. 


Recent developments in the Center’s remit

From the time of its inception to the end of October 2019, COFEB was a Directorate of the Central Bank, and was solely tasked with training and capacity building. Since November 4, 2019, the Center’s remit has been expanded to include conducting research work for the Central Bank in the areas of banking, economics and finance.

In this respect, it is called upon to conduct econometric and modeling studies and forward-looking studies on subjects of interest to the BCEAO, the Member States and the Union’s banking and financial system.

The administrative structure of the Center has been turned into a Directorate General comprising three Directorates:

* Administrative Affairs and Communications Directorate 

* Teaching and Training Programs Directorate

* Research and Partnerships Directorate

The institutional transformation of COFEB, by decision of the authorities of the Bank, was prompted by their commitment to make COFEB an international center of excellence devoted to training and research in the fields of economics and finance.