The United Nations Office for South-South Cooperation (UNOSSC) will engage with local leaders private sector stakeholders, think tanks and development practitioners during the 11th African Private Sector Forum, organized by the African Union Commission in collaboration with UNOSSC and the Organisation international de la Francophonie (OIF), under the theme “Transforming African Economies through mobilization of the Private sector and the Capitalization of Good practices from other regions of the world”. Given the importance of South-South and triangular cooperation to the socioeconomic transformation of developing nations in Africa and beyond, UNOSSC will organize side-events and facilitate discussions in an effort to deepen collaboration and build new bridges toward achieving Agenda 2030.
Since its inception, the African Union Commission has worked towards enhancing the private sector’s capacity to contribute to the realization of Agenda 2063 for inclusive and sustainable growth in Africa. The Annual African Private Sector Forum serves as a strategic platform to promote the significant role and contribution of the private sector in driving the economic development agenda of the continent. It engages policymakers, private sector representatives, academia, civil society, development organizations, and other key stakeholders.
Within the context of the signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), the 2019 Forum – to be held from 5 to 8 November in Antananarivo, Madagascar – is bringing together a number of experts from Africa and beyond for engaging and thought-provoking discussions that will drive momentum in implementing and/or enhancing innovative business policies. The Forum will also marshal advocacy and sharing of information and commercial skills for the transformation of African economies. South-South and triangular cooperation will be a central part of the discussion.
The Forum will focus on the wide range of Africa’s development priorities and will seek to provide a platform for information exchange, business networking and policy recommendations including business development services, regulatory reforms, and capacity-building for women and youth, with a particular focus on strengthening local micro, small and medium size enterprises. UNOSSC will contribute to the conversation by facilitating several side events ahead of the opening of the Forum:
- The “Building Capacity in Entrepreneurship and Leadership for Youth and Women Empowerment” training and mentoring programme for African youth and women entrepreneurs aims at providing opportunities to acquire entrepreneurial tools and project management skills in order to implement business ideas, take advantage of opportunities offered by the AfCFTA Market, and contribute to the fight against poverty through job creation. This event will be held 3-5 November, 2019.
- The “2ndWomen In STEM Secretariat Meeting” will build on the outcomes of the 1stSecretariat Meeting in Addis Ababa, and look at the way forward. The first meeting culminated in a mapping exercise that assessed women in STEM initiatives and networks, and identified gaps in the national and regional levels across the African continent and diaspora. This meeting serves as a planning workshop for the launch of the Women in STEM (WISTEM) Initiative during the AU 2020 Summit. The meeting will also pave the way forward in terms of resource mobilization and identification of activities leading to the launch, assess potential partner organisations for the platform and create a ‘game plan’ on networking at the Private Sector Forum. The workshop will be held 4-5 November, 2019.
- The session “The Role of South-South Cooperation in Promoting and Deepening Trade and Investment in Africa – Promoting Conducive Policy and Legal Environments in Africa” will focus on the promotion of South-South investment in the Africa region, which is seen as imperative to meet the broader goal of the region’s long-term economic growth and to achieving the SDGs. The session will specifically scope the contributions of South-South investment in the SDGs within the Africa region; identify opportunities and challenges of the AfCFTA and other policy and legal frameworks that can facilitate greater South-South investments in the region; and identify regional integration efforts and funding mechanisms and frameworks that can facilitate better South-South investments for the achievement of the SDGs. This session will be held on 5 November, 2019.
- The regional launch of “South-South Galaxy” – a global knowledge sharing and partnership brokering platform which effectively supports Southern countries in connecting, learning and collaborating with partners digitally. Galaxy serves as a consolidated South-South solutions platform for Southern partners in the UN system and acts as a one-stop-shop for all partners to use. The launch will be held on 6 November, 2019.
- “The Third Steering Committee Meeting of the South-South Global Thinkers”will gather think tank members of the South-South Global Thinkers to reflect on the “Investing in the Sustainable Development Goals through South-South and Triangular Cooperation” workshop to formulate a research agenda that aims to inform better policy-making to promote and strengthen trade and investment policies, specifically South-South investments. The objective is to develop a comprehensive study on the policy and legal environment for South-South investments in the region. The meeting will take place on 7 November, 2019.
Other side-events organized by partners will take place concurrently with the Forum. By adopting a storytelling approach with key stakeholders in the transformation of African economies, the 11th African Private Sector Forum seeks to go beyond recommendations. The Forum will support the efforts of Member States to mobilize internal and external resources, through greater involvement of the African private sector. It will facilitate trade agreements between private sector actors in Africa on the one hand, and with foreign partners on the other.
To learn more and connect, please visit South-South Galaxy Events: http://www.southsouth-galaxy.org/home-page/
To join the E-Discussion on the role of South-South cooperation in African trade and investment please click here.