22 December, Geneva, Switzerland – UNITAR organized a three-day seminar for Anglophone African countries in Kigali, Rwanda from 13 to 15 December 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. This seminar was organized in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda and the Rwanda Development Board. Rwanda is widely recognized as a model within sub-Saharan Africa in terms of economic governance in general and private sector development in particular.
Ten different Anglophone African countries (Botswana, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Swaziland, The Gambia, and Uganda) 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. Mr. Jean-Philippe Kayobotsi, whose experience includes staff positions with the Belgian Ministry of Development and European Affairs and the African Development Bank as well as founding and managing a successful start-up company with activities in Rwanda and Kenya, discussed the private sector development strategy of Rwanda and provided unique insights from an entrepreneur’s point of view. 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 (Trade facilitation, Small and medium sized enterprise (SME) development, Streamlining business procedures) and developed the related curriculum outlines.
With this seminar, which followed two similar meetings of francophone and lusophone countries, UNITAR successfully concluded the field-based part of the needs assessment and identification phase of the new BADEA-UNITAR Technical Assistance Programme on Private Sector Development. As a next step the Institute will prepare in consultation with BADEA and other stakeholders a plan of action based on the results of the needs assessment exercise. The plan of action will guide the development and delivery of capacity building activities by UNITAR and BADEA from 2017 onwards, taking into consideration national and regional development priorities.
The Technical Assistance Programme on Private Sector Development 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. It also contributes to achieving economic development and social inclusion objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
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: Group photo of seminar participants
Photo 2: Working group
Photo 3: Presentation by working group representative