By Reinhard Jacobsen
BRUSSELS (IDN) – The African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States is committed to helping achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the 79 countries in its fold. In doing so, it subscribes to the view that to realise the 17 Goals as outlined in Agenda 2030 will require actors across public and private sectors to work together.
The challenge of financing the SDGs,” as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says in a recent paper, “is fundamentally related to effective governance and demands the re-orientation of how public and private actors interact with each other in a system that achieves results in the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental.”
With this in view, the ACP Secretariat is launching a series of regional meetings with the main purpose of ACP Private Sector Information, Development Knowledge Sharing and Networking. As an integral activity of the Joint ACP-EU Private Sector Development Framework, these events are being organised with technical support from Business ACP, the ACP Private Sector Development Platform, in close concertation with the European Commission.
An important event for ACP Private sector for West and Central Africa is taking place from November 6 to 8, 2019, in Dakar, Senegal. According to the ACP Secretariat, this is particularly useful at this point in time, as several new intra-ACP projects and substantial private sector financing facilities are being launched or expanded, under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) and the European External Investment Plan.
The meeting is bringing together European Commission and European Investment Bank representatives as well as international cooperation and development agencies, regional or national Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) and selected national friendly financial institutions from West and Central Africa friendly toward micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME).
Also regional and national Apex Business Membership Organizations (BMOs) from West and Central Africa and private sector Development organizations (Investment Promotion Agencies, SME Promotion Agencies, Investment Climate Reform Bodies, MSME Finance Bodies) from the two regions, and representatives of UEMOA and ECOWAS and other senior officials along with ACP Group representatives are participating.
This regional event is structured in three parts:
The first day will aim to provide detailed information on the way the ACP private sector can benefit from intra-ACP/EDF and EU-funded financing facilities and Private Sector Development programmes.
Four thematic knowledge sharing sessions will avail participants with the opportunity to learn from peers and experts and discuss African development opportunities and challenges in areas as critical as Innovative Financing models for entrepreneurship & Private Sector Development; the potential of Africa’s Creative and Cultural Industries; Developing agro-industries, agriculture value chains and intra-African trade in agriculture products; Digital entrepreneurship development and Industry 4.0. The event will also feature a field visit as well as special “Peer-to-Peer Learning” sessions.
Among 11th EDF/ INTRA-ACP Private Sector Development Facilities and Programmes is the support to business friendly and inclusive national and regional policies and strengthening productive capabilities and value chains. Implementing partners are: International Trade Center (ITC); United Nations Industrial Development Organizations (UNIDO); and the World Bank Group.
The overall objective is to promote business-friendly and inclusive national and regional policies and strengthening productive capabilities and value chains. The five-year programme (2018-2023) will help adopt and implement business-friendly, inclusive and responsible national policies and legal frameworks, and strengthen productive, processing and commercial alliances and capabilities of agriculture value chains and MSMES.
The priority value chains, especially for the micro level intervention, would be: coconuts and associated crops such as cocoa for the Caribbean and kava for the Pacific, cotton and fashion for Sub-Saharan Africa, and coffee and associated crops for Sub-Saharan Africa.
The programme will intervene at three levels:
Macro-level programme pillar: enhancing investment climates through improved policies, strategies, regulations, and administrative environments informed by strengthened diagnostics on growth, investment and competitive markets.
Meso-level programme pillar: leveraging intermediary organizations and business membership networks, including investment promotion institutions to strengthen investment promotion capacities and capabilities, business support programmes, marketing, monitoring, and partnerships.
Micro-level programme pillar: facilitating productive and commercial VC alliances and providing firm-level support to formal and informal businesses through capacity building and training in order to strengthen and diversify productive and value addition capabilities. [IDN-InDepthNews – 05 November 2019]
Image credit: ACP
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