This week is an incredibly busy week for our readers interested in development cooperation and the contribution that the private sector can make to global challenges facing the poorest nations of the world.  Below is a list of events/conferences taking place that we recommend:

1. The African Development Bank annual meeting (May 27 – 31, 2013)

The first event at this meeting is entitled “Africa’s Competitiveness Report 2013 – “Connecting Africa’s markets in a sustainable way”.  It is interesting to note that the contribution of economic growth and market development are put at the forefront of the AfDB’s annual meeting.

Several of the sessions will be broadcast live, including one yesterday on the African Economic Outlook 2013.

One of the most interesting sessions to be broadcast live for Canadians following the House of Commons Standing Committee report “Driving Inclusive Economic Growth: The role of the private sector in international development” recommendations, is one entitled “Financing Africa’s Structural Change: Infrastructure and Diaspora bonds” – in particular because of the diaspora bonds which will likely be a key policy direction – CIDA embraces in its new amalgamation with DFAIT.

If you want to follow the live debate or participate, you can do so on twitter with the tag #afdbam2013.

2. 2013 OECD Forum (May 28 – 30, 2013)

The forum this year will be focused on three key themes:

-       Promoting inclusive growth

-       Rebuilding trust

-       Fostering sustainability

The first key theme deals with issues of equitable growth in order to encourage development.  This will interest our readers who read CCIC’s critique of CIDA’s sustainable economic growth strategy – the critique being that the CIDA strategy defined economic growth to be good without looking at distribution and impact of that growth.

The live webcast will be worthwhile.

3. e-Learning Africa (May 29 – 31, 2013)

As per their website, e-Learning Africa is “the largest gathering of eLearning and ICT supported education and training professionals in Africa, enabling participants to develop multinational and cross-industry contacts and partnerships, as well as to enhance their knowledge, expertise and abilities.”

The potential that this field has in enhancing skills, enhancing educational delivery and creating jobs for Africa is unquestionable.

There is no live webcast for this conference, but a list of the pre-conference workshops is available, for inspiration! This outlines some of the work that is going on and how innovation and technology are being leveraged for development in Africa.  A post-conference report will likely be posted on the website, so keep an eye out for that if you are interested.

4. 2013 International Economic Forum: Latin America and the Caribbean (May 30, 2013)

The title of this year’s forum is “Empowering entrepreneurship for competitiveness – Fostering SME development in Latin America and the Caribbean”.  Often we focus on the role that large mining companies or extractive industries play in the development of a nation, but we forget that the majority of jobs in economies are created by local SMEs.

Can the same standards of Corporate Social Responsibility or the same strategies for obtaining social license to operate be expected of these SMEs?  It would seem that developing nations require very different models for encouraging the growth of smaller enterprises in their local economies and what responsibilities do those promoting these types of development activities share?  If you peruse the program, the majority of speakers are representatives of Latin American governments, with very little representation from the SME sector itself.

Again there will be no live webcast, but there is interesting documentation on SMEs in the Background Documents tab.  If you would like to follow the events of this forum online the tag on twitter is #LACFORUM.


Are there any other events happening this week that you find interesting?  Do any of them include the role of the private sector and its contribution to international development in new and innovative ways?  Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.