30 November, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR’s Public Finance and Trade Programme organized a three-day seminar for francophone African countries in Dakar, Senegal from 15 to 17 November 2016 with the sponsorship of the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA). The Centre Africain pour le Commerce, l’Intégration et le Développement (ENDA CACID) provided technical support.
The main objectives of the seminar were to inform beneficiary countries about the new Technical Assistance Programme on Private Sector Development to be executed by UNITAR with the support of BADEA from 2017, and to assess their training needs in the area of private sector development.
The Principal Technical Adviser to the Minister Ms. Coumba Thiam opened the seminar on behalf of the Minister for Investment and Partnerships of Senegal H.E. Ms. Khoudia Mbaye. Ten different countries (Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cote d’Ivoire, Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo) were represented at the seminar by senior and middle level officials.
The methodology included presentations by experts and participants, roundtable discussions, and working groups.
On day one, Mr. Babar Kamal of UNITAR presented the project, the seminar objectives and methodology. Senior UNITAR Consultant Dr. Osvaldo Agatiello gave an introductory lecture on Private Sector Development in Sub-Saharan Africa through Human Resources Development. Two high level national experts, Dr. Cheikh Tidiane Dieye (Executive Director of ENDA CACID) and Mr. Abdoulaye Ly, Director of Investment Promotion at the Ministry of Investment and Partnerships of Senegal, discussed the private sector development situation of francophone African countries in general and the experience of Senegal, respectively. The participants identified with the above-mentioned experts specific areas where assistance is needed to strengthen their countries’ capacity in the field of private sector development.
On day two, they participated in a training needs assessment exercise facilitated by UNITAR staff. At the end of the day, participants completed a detailed needs assessment questionnaire. The needs assessment exercise provided valuable insights into the current and future needs of the 10 participating countries both in terms of training topics and methodologies.
On day three, the participants identified in working groups three priority topics to be addressed in future capacity building activities (Financing private sector diversification, Development of competitive economic zones, and Alternative modes of financing) and developed the related curriculum outlines. These outputs will feed into the development of training activities starting in 2017.
The Technical Assistance Programme on Private Sector Development to be executed by UNITAR with the support of BADEA forms part of BADEA’s technical assistance which aims at enhancing the effectiveness of BADEA operations in beneficiary countries. Since 2013, BADEA and UNITAR are partnering to strengthen the human resources of African countries which are not members of the Arab League of States. To date UNITAR has successfully trained over 250 national government officials from anglophone, francophone and lusophone African countries with the support of BADEA.
For more information about BADEA please see http://www.badea.org/.
Photo 1: Seminar opening session
Photo 2: Group photo of seminar participants
Photo 3: Working groups