UNITAR and BADEA Assess the Private Sector Development Training Needs in Lusophone African Countries
5 December, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR in collaboration with the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) recently conducted a needs assessment seminar on strengthening human resources of Lusophone African countries for private sector development. The seminar was conducted in Praia, Cape Verde from 22 to 24 November 2016 with the technical support of the Centre Africain pour le Commerce, l’Intégration et le Développement (ENDA CACID).
Dr. Guevara Cruz, National Director of the Public Administration of Cape Verde who represented H.E. Dr. Olavo Correia, Minister of Finance of Cape Verde officially opened the event. Dr. Cruz said in his keynote speech that the “BADEA-UNITAR project goes in the same direction of what the Government of Cape Verde advocates, which is to create a more diversified, modernized economic landscape capable of generating jobs and wealth in a sustainable way”. He further stressed that the seminar is “very important and timely for Cape Verde's on-going national development planning”.
The opening session was chaired by Mr. Babar Kamal, Manager of the Public Finance and Trade Program of UNITAR who also presented the BADEA-UNITAR project objectives and emphasized the participants' important role in determining the thematic areas and in setting the parameters on the kind of capacity development and policy support that their respective countries will benefit from the program. Mr. Kamal also urged the participants to take ownership of the preparatory process to ensure that the program reflects the national development aspirations of the Lusophone African countries.
Fourteen middle- and senior-level officials from ministries of finance, planning, and economic development of Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and Sao Tome and Principe participated in the seminar which was facilitated by Prof Osvaldo Agatiello, an international expert in international trade, finance, and public ethics.
During the 3-day seminar, country presentations, round-table discussions, and working groups were organized to sensitize the participants, ensure buy-in of beneficiary countries, assess capacity development needs and map initiatives on private sector development. The seminar also provided a platform for discussion and exchange among the participants, and identified the priority thematic areas to be addressed in the next phases of the BADEA-UNITAR project.
“2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” and “Agenda 2063 - The Africa We Want"
Private sector development has been identified by the "2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development" and the "Agenda 2063 - The Africa We Want" to play a key role on inclusive growth and economic development. It is also not a coincidence that BADEA and UNITAR have identified private sector development as one of the fundamental areas of focus of the current collaboration to reduce poverty and support sustainable growth in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Dr. Paulino Dias, a visiting expert on private sector development and advisor on public policies in the Lusophone African countries (PALOP) noted that "the major constraints for doing business in the Lusophone countries in Africa are starting a business, getting electricity, protecting minority investors, trading across borders and getting credit. Almost all of those binding constraints are in fields where public administration plays a key role."
As per Prof Agatiello, “the empirical evidence resulting from the BADEA-UNITAR stocktaking seminar held in Praia, on 22-24 November 2016 provides a solid point of departure for the development of online training on private sector development in Sub-Saharan Africa through the reinforcement of its human resources.”
Prof Agatiello further noted from the round-table discussions, presentation, and needs assessment questionnaire that there is a need to improve access to finance, foster public-private partnerships, adopt dynamic innovation policy with great attention to inclusive growth and the role of women in development.
In a post event survey conducted by UNITAR, 92% of the participants indicated that the objectives of the seminar were relevant to their professional work, the methodology was appropriate, and that the presentations and resource speakers were very informative.
Acknowledgement and Way Forward
During the closing ceremony, Mr. Kamal, expressed his gratitude - on behalf of UNITAR - for the full support provided by the host country Cape Verde and likewise thanked the members of the media who covered the event.
Mr. Kamal added, “I would like to acknowledge the members of the media. It is an important element to ensure that we communicate to a wider audience that through dialogue and exchange of ideas in this BADEA-UNITAR seminar, we are engaging the stakeholders in the region and give them the full ownership and tools to realize their development objectives through private sector development.”
Over the next 12 months, the results of the needs assessment will feed into the next phases of BADEA-UNITAR project to help African countries build capacity in the area of sustainable and inclusive economic development. Phase 2 of the project include delivery of 3 workshops for online course directors. Phase 3 consist of 3 online courses and 3 regional workshops. Phase 4 consist of institutional support for policy making and training delivery at the national level.
About The Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA)
The Arab Bank for Development in Africa (BADEA) was created in 1974 by eighteen Arab countries members of the League of Arab States for the purpose of strengthening economic, financial and technical cooperation between the Arab and African regions and for the embodiment of Arab-African solidarity on foundations of equality and friendship. For more information about BADEA please see http://www.badea.org/.
Photo 1: Group picture taken during the seminar opening day, 22 November 2016 in Praia, Cape Verde.
Photo 2: Participants from Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe participate in a group work to map the training needs of their respective countries.
Photo 3: Participants from Mozambique and Guinea Bissau discussing their training plan with the seminar facilitator Prof. Osvaldo Agatiello.