Internship / Best Work Experience Award
SARB Economics Winter School
The South African Reserve Bank
Short description of campaign:
The SARB Economics Winter School hosted by the Economic Research Department (ERD) in collaboration with HR and the SARB Academy was held in July for postgraduate economics students. It was a week-long training programme for postgraduate economics students. This in-person experience gave students access to local and international best thinking around the theme of Climate Change and Central banking. It was an opportunity for students to showcase their passion and skills through team activities and debates, and immersed themselves into the SARB culture and ERD department specifically.
The intention of the experience was to create awareness of SARB as a preferred employer and identify potential recruitment candidates in support of our critical skills pipeline. “The aim of the SARB Winter School is to increase awareness around important central bank issues, provide high quality training and create a platform for the Reserve Bank to engage with South Africa’s best postgrad students”. Konstantin Makrelov (Lead Economist, Economic Research Department)
30 top students were assessed and selected out of over 170 applications from universities across South Africa. The students were given exposure to a broad variety of key issues related to climate change, and to a wide range of expert perspectives on these issues.
Dr Chantal Naidoo, Executive Director and Founder of Rabia Transitions Initiatives, introduced the students to the climate change challenges facing South Africa and the continent; Dr Monique Reid, Lead Economist in SARB’s Economic Research Department Climate discussed the implications of climate change for monetary policy; Dr Nicola Ranger, Executive Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on Systemic Resilience, and Leader of the Resilience and International Development Group at the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford guided the students through the financial stability implications of climate change; Gireesh Shrimali, Head of Transition Finance Research at the Oxford Sustainable Finance Group looked at the success and impact of green financial instruments; and Dr Christopher Trisos, Senior Researcher at the African Climate & Development Initiative and Director of Climate Risk Lab, provided insight into the findings from the most recent IPCC report being a lead author of the report.
Panel discussions allowed the students to see the industry experts engage with one another on the various issues raised in the presentations as well as pose questions. Students also had a special opportunity to engage with several key SARB representatives about what a career at the SARB offers. Apart from personal interactions with the SARB team including the SARB HRBPs during lunches and during the formal dinner evening, formal activities included a welcome address by the head of HR Department, Ntebo Kgoroba; an address by Deputy Govenor Fundi Tshazibana; an overview of the role and mandate of the SARB by Nimrod Lidovho from the Executive Management Department; an introduction to the SARB connect program by Larry Cooke, Lead Legal Council in the Legal services Department; and an in-depth look at opportunities within the SARB by Zani Mashini the Divisional Head of the Centres of Excellence, and Professor Lukhele, L&D consultant from the SARB Academy.
The students also heard from Bafundi Maronoti and Thuli Radebe about their career journeys and experiences at the SARB as well as ‘a day in the life of an economist at SARB’ from Chloe Allison. The students expressed sincere appreciation of the opportunity to have these discussions. The overall programme was facilitated by two senior economists from the Economics Research Department.
The students were then given an opportunity to showcase their learning and step into our shoes as policy makers through team debates that explored the role of central banks in tackling climate change. There were many passionate and heated conversations, and the debates ending on a positive note with the winning team re-affirming our hope that technological innovation can save us from the worst of climate change. The winners were celebrated in a formal prize-giving ceremony on Friday which was attended by executive/senior members of the bank to recognise their momentous achievement.
The week was an incredible success with student feedback as follows:
I really had a great time, great experiences, great networking. Lifetime memories. Most importantly the hospitality and welcoming atmosphere in and around the SARB – Mcabangomuhle Zulu
The most thing that I found to be valuable during the Winter School was the passion that the SARB Employees demonstrated in providing and equipping us with the knowledge to excel in our careers as future economists. The effort that was placed in organizing the event was so perfect, including the incredible speakers from across the world that provided with insight on Climate change and the role of central banks in this role. There’s just so much that I enjoyed about the programme and to deliver my sincerest appreciation to all the SARB employees in devoting their time to equip us with all the knowledge – Faith Matlhatsi Mondalawa
Getting a chance to engage with the deputy governor, local and international experts, practitioners, and peers, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing on climate change-related topics specific to central banks – Boitumelo Masia
Everyone has a role to play in climate change and central banks are working on ways to tackle the climate change impact. Climate change impacts different stakeholders and everyone should assume a role. I have learnt some presentation skills as being part of the debate team and the value of public speaking. Being around like-minded people who are eager to learn and eager to experience the SARB was wonderful even getting a clearer view of what the SARB does and it’s employees on a regular basis – Omphemetse Makabe
This was my first time outside KZN, thank reserve bank for making it possible for disadvantaged communities to participate in your programs. You’re an inspiring institution, my future employer… – Simiso Vukani Gumede
One of a kind experience. Thank you so much for allow me to be a part of the winter school. Definitely would recommend fellow students to apply for the 2024 one! – Thapelo Bopape