ASE is a continuation of the success of the Institute of Empirical Research in Political Economy (IERPE) founded by Professor Léonard Wantchekon in 2004 in Cotonou, Benin. A nonprofit training and research initiative in Political Economy and Applied Statistics, IERPE provides expertise in public policy and trains executives for the public and private sector in West Africa.

Since its inception, the Institute has expanded its activities to include a successful Masters of Public Economics and Applied Statistics (MEPSA). The MEPSA has had 74 African graduates, all whom are in high demand in the West African region:  more than 75% of the graduates of the classes of 2006-2009 are employed in research centers throughout West Africa, in the World Bank and in different governments. The MEPSA program is accredited by the Ministry of Education in Benin.

ASE aims to meet the urgent need for an academic institution capable of generating the necessary human capital in Africa. Although the region has seen significant improvements in primary and secondary education in the past few decades there is still a pressing need for advanced education centers.  Through our PhD programs, we hope to provide the missing African voice in many Africa-related academic debates. Furthermore, through our Master in Business Administration (MBA), Master in Public Administration (MPA), Executive MBA and MPA (EMBA and EMPA), Master in Mathematics, Economics and Statistics (MMES), and Master in Development Studies (MDS) programs, we will provide the technical capacity that will enable more Africans to be hired into top management positions in development agencies and multinational corporations operating on the continent. This will foster sustainable hiring practices that will retain talent and experience in Africa.