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Research: Rethinking Development

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How do low income countries transform into sustainable developmental states, improving the lives and livelihoods of their citzens?

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> South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination?

DATE: Monday 28 April

TIME: 4.00-6.00pm

VENUE: Committee Room 15, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

Speaker: William Gumede, author of South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or Ruination and Associate Professor and Convener in Political Economy, University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg)

As South Africans prepare to go to the polls for the 2014 presidential elections, what does the future hold for one of Africa's leading economies?

Developing economies are increasingly regarded as potential global growth engines which could power the world economy. Alongside China, Brazil, Russia and India, South Africa belatedly became part of the BRICS alliance, forged to provide leading developing countries with a greater voice with respect to global action.

Yet, might the differences between members in this disparate bloc far outweigh the similarities that bind them, compounding competition and tension within the group? Might the keenness of once eager investors have been cooled by the groups' more modest economic performance? This is

illustrated by China's immense economic restructuring which has led to contractions in its growth rates, which formerly boasted double digits. This is in addition to the turbulent currency crisis which fuelled further rises in already relatively high inflation and interest rates experienced across many emerging markets, earlier this year. As the US economy experiences a fragile recovery this has reduced the need to stimulate the economy and keep interest rates low. As such, the US Federal Reserve has begun to ease its injections of liquidity into the wider banking system. How might the BRICS in general and South Africa in particular, insulate its own markets from the turbulence generated by the fall in monetary stimulus which has considerably reduced investment inflows into developing economies?

More importantly, beyond political advantage, might the real gains of such an alliance for an economy like South Africa now seem far more limited than otherwise envisaged? Furthermore, with the advent of a so-called second generation of emerging economic giants which include Mexico, Indonesia, Nigeria and Turkey (MINTs), might South Africa have sneaked into the wrong club?

This event is free and open to all. If you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to

Download FPC Seminar - South Africa in BRICS (80 kilobyte PDF)

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> What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?

Financial inclusion and jobs: Drivers of development and growth in Africa?

How might improving the access, distribution and use of a wide range of affordable and appropriate financial services and products (financial inclusion) facilitate job creation and stimulate balanced economic growth across Africa? In addition, how might the private sector build partnerships to champion strong leadership, sustainable innovation and responsible engagement in order to help develop an enabling environment where universal financial inclusion and employment-led growth can thrive?

FPC Roundtable series: Building an agenda for action to shape a post-2015 development agenda

At a proposed series of three roundtable discussions and through the publication of a report supported by Barclays, the Foreign Policy Centre seeks to explore how greater financial inclusion has the potential to help drive the development of new businesses and new jobs, thereby igniting development transformation across Africa. In an effort to support action to help redefine the international development agenda post-2015, the event series seeks to explore the interface between financial inclusion and employment creation – two pressing global public policy priorities.

The event series is scheduled to take place during February 2014 to June 2014. Following the roundtable discussion series, the FPC will produce a report (to be launched in the autumn/winter of 2014) that will build on the discussions and insights exchanged during the course of the event series. The report will capture the salient issues discussed and key findings identified.

Should you have any queries about this upcoming event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on

Read more…

Download Summary note - Roundtable 1 (110 kilobyte PDF)


> FPC Briefing: Climate change cooperation within the Global South: Finance, policy and institutions

By Stephen Minas.

FPC Research Associate Stephen Minas analyses the growing and dynamic area of climate change cooperation in the Global South. His briefing looks at the role of the BRICS and a growing range of other regional groupings that are sharing policy best practice, creating innovative finance arrangements and developing new institutions to tackle the challenges of climate change.

Download FPC Briefing: Climate change cooperation in the Global South (440 kilobyte PDF)

> FPC Briefing: BASIC positions-Major emerging economies in the UN climate change negotiations

By Stephen Minas.

FPC Research Associate Stephen Minas examines the positions taken by the so-called BASIC group (Brazil, South Africa, India and China) of emerging economies in UN global climate change negotiations. The report explores their priorities and the relationships with both developing and developed countries, looking at their cooperation so far and what challenges lie ahead.

Download FPC Briefing: BASIC positions (250 kilobyte PDF)

> The UK needs to show leadership on transparency of international development aid

By Dr David Hall-Matthews.

From hosting the G8 to leading on the Open Government Partnership, this continues to be a landmark year for the UK leadership on the world stage. Prime Minister David Cameron has been clear that the common thread running through all these international development events centres on transparency, openness and accountability.

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> Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?

[Cover of Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?]

Adam Hug (Ed.)

February 2013 Hard copy: £4.95, plus £1 p+p.

Download Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact? (2.02 megabyte PDF)

The Foreign Policy Centre's new publication, Europe in the World: Can EU foreign policy make an impact?, examines both how Europe is seen on the world stage and the effectiveness of the new External Action Service in delivering on its key objectives: building an effective new diplomatic service, strengthening EU influence in the neighbourhood and developing relations with strategic partners. It explores the institutional and organisational challenges surrounding the creation of the EEAS and considers what tensions remain with other EU institutions and national governments, with particular reference to the UK's difficult relationship with Europe.

Europe in the World is edited by Adam Hug (Foreign Policy Centre). It contains contributions on a range of topics and different perspectives from: Dr. Jozef Batora (Comenius University), Thiago de Aragão (Foreign Policy Centre), William Gumede (Foreign Policy Centre), Jacqueline Hale (Open Society Foundations), Richard Howitt MEP, Stefan Lehne (Carnegie Europe), Dr. Simon Lightfoot and Dr Balazs Szent-Ivanyi (University of Leeds), Prof. Anand Menon (Kings College London), Rt. Hon. Sir Malcolm Rifkind KCMG, QC, MP, Edward Macmillan-Scott MEP, Prof. John Peterson (University of Edinburgh), Dr. Neil Winn (University of Leeds). Rt. Hon. Douglas Alexander MP (Shadow Foreign Secretary) provides the foreword.

The findings of the Europe in the World publication have been extensively referenced in the UK Government's Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Foreign Policy paper.

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> The financial revolution in Africa: Mobile payment services in a new global age

[Cover of The financial revolution in Africa: Mobile payment services in a new global age]

Josephine Osikena (Ed.)

December 2012

Download The financial revolution in Africa: Mobile payment services (590 kilobyte PDF)

This pamphlet builds on an FPC and UK Foreign Office event series, the first of which took place in March 2011, with a follow-up conference taking place in March 2012 - in association with the City of London Corporation and 'This is Africa' - the FT's bi-monthly magazine. The events and publication brought together national and international experts and specialists from across the mobile payment service sector. The project aimed to develop and promote an evidence-based understanding of the risks and challenges associated with supervising mobile payment services and promoting their global expansion. This essay collection focuses on three core themes. The first explores how effective regulatory oversight might be developed. The second examines how expanding the provision of mobile payment schemes might improve the distribution of financial services and finally the third section critically assesses the future of branchless banking beyond issues of financial access. Essentially, it considers the challenges of increasing service use and integrating mobile money services into existing electronic payment systems.

The pamphlet contains contributions by: Mark Simmonds MP, UK Foreign Office Minister for Africa, Susie Lonie, Co-Creator of M-Pesa, Mireya Almazán and Claire Alexandre (formerly), Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Hemant Baijal and Sal Karakaplan, MasterCard, Simone di Castri, GSMA, Christine Hougaard, Cenfri, Quan Le, GMX Consulting, Prateek Shrivastava, Accendo Associate (and formerly at Monitise), Cicero Torteli, Freeddom and Josephine Osikena (ed.), Foreign Policy Centre.

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> Responsibility to the poor: A new agenda for changed times

Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP

September 2010

Download Responsibility to the poor: A new agenda for changed times (790 kilobyte PDF)

In a publication launched by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled 'Responsibility to the poor: A new agenda for changed times', the former UK Secretary of State for International Development, Rt Hon Douglas Alexander MP, outlines why justice not charity needs to underpin the fight against global inequality and poverty. FPC Co-President Baroness Jay provides the foreword.

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Past Events

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> Employment, enterprise and skills: building business infrastructure for African development

Refocusing the development agenda

The current global financial crisis has led to an economic age of unprecedented austerity, mounting uncertainty and rising inequality. Today, there is a pressing need to forge a new global consensus on how best to build Africa's productive capacity. In essence: supporting the continent to develop and employ its productive resources, harness and grow its entrepreneurial capabilities and build robust and dynamic networks and linkages essential for supporting the production of goods and services to power national and regional economies. In order to move beyond the Millennium Development Goals, no longer can addressing the multiple challenges of how to promote development transformation, cultivate entrepreneurship and drive employment-led growth continue to be considered in isolation. How can the physical, social and human capital needed to expand business and enterprise development in the formal sector be promoted? How might access to, as well as the distribution of appropriate business education, skills and training across Africa be improved, replicated and scaled-up?

Mounting global concerns about inclusive growth are illustrated by the World Bank's 2013 World Development Report, focused on jobs and the G20 development agenda's training strategy explored developing employment related skills. Yet, there are a number of issues which need to be considered. How can national development strategies focus on job creation? How best can their impacts be measured and scaled-up? Beyond micro-enterprise, how best can entrepreneurship be developed and fostered within and beyond national borders? Which investment and trade sectors have the greatest development impact potential, particularly with respect to creating professional employment for young people and women? How best can such sectors be developed and supported? What type of investments are required in education, training and skills development to enhance business infrastructure, expand networks and build the innovations required to transform long term employment prospects?

FPC Event Series

At a series of two roundtable discussions in 2013/14, the Foreign Policy Centre seeks to explore and develop a more informed and evidence-based understanding of the important links shared between employment promotion, business enterprise development and expanding entrepreneurial training and education to build job-related skills. The first roundtable discussion aims to provide a broad overview of employment-led growth. It will attempt to explore and identify which sectors maximise development impact through the creation of decent jobs with good prospects across the formal sector. Essentially, what works, what doesn't and how might success be appropriately replicated and scaled-up? The second roundtable will aim to address how to drive the expansion in employment and the development of entrepreneurship among young people and women. This event will adopt a strong focus on: education, training and skills development by identify issues, developing practical responses and recommend action for change. The event series could also help develop more coherent and effective policy responses to deliver improvements to the development of employment-led, business infrastructure in poor countries and regions. Following the roundtable discussion series, the FPC will produce a concise summary report that will build on the discussions and insights exchanged during the course of the event series, capturing the salient issues and key findings. The series is kindly supported by CDC, in association with Business Fights Poverty.

Should you have any queries about this event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on

A summary note of the first roundtable event can be downloaded by clicking on the link below.

Download Summary Note-Employment, enterprise and skills-Roundtable 1 (100 kilobyte PDF)

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> The Foreign Policy Centre at the 2013 Conservative Party Conference

Tuesday 1st October- Manchester

The Foreign Policy Centre is hosting a fringe event at this year's Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. Please click below to download the flyer. The event is free and open to all however Conference accreditation WILL be required to gain access to the venue.

Download Foreign Policy Centre at Conservative Party Conference 2013 (90 kilobyte PDF)

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> There was a Country: Reflections from the Nigerian Diaspora

DATE: Monday 10 December 2012

TIME: 6.00-9.00pm

VENUE: Committee Room 8, House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA

(Please allow for at least 15 minutes to clear security when you arrive)

***Please note the new venue of Committee Room 6 (changed from Committee Room 8 due to parliamentary business)***

Chinua Achebe's recently published memoirs, There was a Country: A Personal History of Biafra, have controversially reopened discussions on Nigeria's past – especially the events leading up to the first coup and the aftermath of the Biafran War. These events have had a profound impact on Nigeria and continue to critically impact developments across the country today.

This event aims to bring Nigerians together to debate the key legacies from the coup and civil war in the context of Nigeria's present realities and future trajectory, and hopes to explore how the coup and war have:

  • adversely affected peacebuilding and state-building across Nigeria (with reference to reconciliation, integration and equality)?
  • shaped the relationship between the Nigerian State and ordinary Nigerians?
  • influenced broader understanding of how to tackle the deep and growing levels of economic and social inequality polarising Nigeria?
  • affected access to justice, transparency and accountability as well as tackling state impunity in Nigeria?

Chair: Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Science & Digital Infrastructure


  • Donu Kogbara, Print and broadcast journalist and Board Member, Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority
  • Dipo Salimonu, Eirenicon Africa and founding partner of Ateriba Limited
  • Onyekachi Wambu, Director Policy and Engagement, African Foundation for Development (AFFORD)
  • Dr Muhammad Jameel Yusha'u, Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics, Northumbria University

There are a limited number of places so if you would like to attend, please RSVP by email to:

Download the report (170 kilobyte PDF)

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