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Ideas for a fairer world

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?


> Summary note - Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing

By Foreign Policy Centre.

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

In a series of Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) roundtable discussions - supported by Nestlé - the FPC seeks to explore how business can play a more constructive role in building resilience to improve women's economic and social wellbeing across Africa. The proposed series of roundtable discussions come at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined in the wake of a post-2015 UN Millennium Development Goals' agenda. In addition, 2015 marks the 15th anniversary of the adoption of Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security. This resolution promotes the importance of women in building peace and security in states affected by conflict. All this is coupled with the fact that the global economic recovery remains fragile. Existing inequality and insecurity disproportionately affects women, and has been compounded by the unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going austerity and mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise has become increasingly important.

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Download Summary note 1-Women's economic resilience &social wellbeing (130 kilobyte PDF)

> The challenge of health and healthcare for Africa

By Dr Titilola Banjoko.

In many countries, the health indices and healthcare services can make or break those running for elections. This does not seem to be the case in Africa. According to facts compiled by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for Africa - Atlas of Health Statistics 2011, the life expectancy across the continent stands at 53. This expectancy rate is low compared to other global regions where the average is 68. In addition, 71% of communicable diseases are transmitted in Africa compared to a global average of 39.7%.

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> Russia's drug users have a right to needles, methadone and dignity

By Anya Sarang.

Before Russia wrested control of the Crimean peninsula in March this year, HIV transmission rates were falling in this region, thanks to life-saving schemes offered to drug users including needle syringe programmes and opioid substitution therapies (OST), such as the provision of methadone. But since coming under Russia's draconian drug laws, these schemes have been closed down, leading to at least 20 deaths already. Russia's dangerous stance toward drug users is causing untold harm in the fight against AIDS on the streets of our own cities and towns today. A shadowy world of drug-taking and rampant HIV infection pervades some of the most vulnerable groups in our society, who are stigmatised and marginalised by a state that refuses to take responsibility for their plight.

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

[Cover of Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development]

Josephine Osikena, Anna Owen, Deniz Ugur

an FPC report supported by CDC Group

October 2014

Download 'Employment, enterprise and skills' report (870 kilobyte PDF)

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

'Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development' is a new Foreign Policy Centre report focused on employment expansion across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the President of the African Development Bank, Dr Donald Kaberuka, the publication represents the culmination of a series of roundtable discussions which took place in 2013/14 and were supported by the UK's development finance institution, CDC Group.

Africa has become one of the highest global growth regions, boasting 16 of the world's top 30 fastest growing economies. Yet almost 78 per cent of workers across Africa either work for themselves or engage in unpaid family work. This rate of vulnerable employment is the world's highest relative to other global regions.

Productive employment does more than simply provide incomes, improve livelihoods, support welfare, promote wellbeing and tackle poverty. Jobs, and more significantly good jobs, have a transformative ability to determine the structure and impact of economic growth on wider development. Yet, the growing buoyancy of African economies is undermined by their lack of structural diversity. This can be illustrated by a number of critical questions. Are ordinary people directly feeling the benefits of record economic growth rates across Africa? What impact are economic growth rates having on the nature and structure of employment across the continent? Is economic growth translating into the development of modern productive well integrated economic sectors? Essentially, is economic growth delivering broad-based structural transformation? Given Africa's growing demand for jobs, this report attempts to explore the pivotal role played by employment in deepening and widening economic growth across Africa.

This publication and its associated events form part of a wider project series being developed by the Foreign Policy Centre entitled: Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth. Additional supporters include Barclays and Nestlé.

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

supported by Barclays

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

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 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 event series, please feel free to contact the FPC on

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> South Africa in BRICS: Salvation or ruination?

DATE: Monday 28 April 2014

TIME: 4.00-6.00pm

VENUE: Please note room change: Committee Room 5, 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 (the 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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> Employment, enterprise and skills: Building business infrastructure for African development

CDC Group logo

supported by CDC Group

Part of the 'Africa Rising? Building Africa's Productive Capacity for Inclusive Growth' series

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

Download the roundtable summary notes here:

Roundtable 1 summary notes

Roundtable 2 summary notes

Download 'Employment enterprise and skills' final report (870 kilobyte PDF)

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