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Foreign Policy Centre

Ideas for a fairer world

Research: The private sector and development

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> Summary note 5- Investing in women's economic resilience & social wellbeing

By Foreign Policy Centre.

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.

This series of roundtable discussions is taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21) which aspires to keep global temperature rises below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this. In addition, at a time when the level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by the aftermath of an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going global economic fragility and austerity producing mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise across both the formal and informal sectors has become increasingly important. How does private sector development support structural transformation and enhance sustainable development outcomes? This might range from wealth and investment creation to employment-led growth. Private sector development might also include driving innovation and technological development or help to build essential infrastructure. Furthermore, business might also support enterprise development, help improve the quality of work and provide much needed skills development and improved productivity.

This summary note reflects the discussions which took place at the fifth session which focused on supporting innovation to promote food and nutritional security across Africa. This is particularly significant for women and girls given the interface between agriculture, rural economic development, and the need to build sustainable food systems to improve nutrition.

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Download Summary note 5-Women's economic resilience &social wellbeing (150 kilobyte PDF)


> Summary note 4- 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.

This series of roundtable discussions is taking place at a time when global development priorities are being reshaped and redefined by the 17 recently adopted UN Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Change agreement (COP21) which aspires to keep global temperature rises below 1.5°C (above pre-industrial levels) however, has yet to provide the commitments needed to achieve this. In addition, at a time when the level of global inequality and insecurity disproportionately affecting women and girls continues to be compounded by the aftermath of an unprecedented global economic crisis, on-going global economic fragility and austerity producing mounting uncertainty. These conditions present very real challenges for public spending dedicated to sustainable development. As such, understanding the development transformation role played by business and enterprise across both the formal and informal sectors has become increasingly important. How does private sector development support structural transformation and enhance sustainable development outcomes? This might range from wealth and investment creation to employment-led growth. Private sector development might also include driving innovation and technological development or help to build essential infrastructure. Furthermore, business might also support enterprise development, help improve the quality of work and provide much needed skills development and improved productivity.

This summary note reflects the discussions which took place at the fourth session which focused on how science and technology can help drive more open and inclusive innovation to explore how best women and girls across Africa might be empowered to meaningfully contribute to shaping sustainable development solutions which address the challenges they face across agriculture and the rural economy. In essence, what works, what doesn't and how can success be appropriately scaled-up and replicated?

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> Summary note 3- 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.

This summary note reflects the discussions which took place at the third session which focused on environmental resource management. The event attempted to understand how best to support women to adapt to a changing environment (with respect to water scarcity, climate change challenges, energy insecurity etc.) and balance conservation and consumption in an age of scarcity and uncertainty. In essence, what works, what doesn't and how can success be appropriately scaled-up and replicated?

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Download Summary note 3-Women's economic resilience &social wellbeing (120 kilobyte PDF)


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Publications

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> Iran Human Rights Review: Economy

[Cover of Iran Human Rights Review: Economy]

Hossein Rassam (Ed.), Tahirih Danesh (Ed.)

June 2016

In this issue, the Iran Human Rights Review focuses on the relationship between Iran's human rights record and its economy. Activists and experts offer a range of perspectives on issues that impact Iran's economy, in light of the human rights dynamics that place a spotlight on Iran. The Iran Human Rights Review: Economy issue highlights religious and economic freedoms, the environment and child labour among others.

The Iran Human Rights Review: Economy issue is edited by Tahirih Danesh and Hossein Rassam. It contains contributions by: Dr Leila Alikarami, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS); Professor Ali Arab, Georgetown University; Azam Bahrami; Kamyar Behrang; Dr. Abdolsattar Dushouki, Baluchestan Research Centre; Marcos Alan Ferreira and Hanna Belle, Federal University of Paraiba - UFPB; Brian Grim, Religious Freedom & Business Foundation; and Solmaz Ikdar; The issue also contains a foreword by Dr. Augusto Lopez-Claros, Director of the Global Indicators Group at the World Bank.


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

[Cover of Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?]

Foreign Policy Centre, Josephine Osikena, Deniz Ugur

January 2016

Download Enterprising Africa (1.23 megabyte PDF)

'Enterprising Africa: What role can financial inclusion play in driving employment-led growth?' is a new FPC report which explores how improving the access and distribution of financial services influences employment creation across Africa.

With a foreword provided by the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Dr Carlos Lopes, the FPC publication focuses on how responsible financial sector development might be linked to employment creation objectives and targets across the real economy including productive sectors such as agriculture, food production and rural manufacturing. The FPC report argues that such developments would be timely given the today's global population rise which is driving a global surge in the demand for food.

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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 events@fpc.org.uk.

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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 events@fpc.org.uk

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

Conference logo

An FPC, FCO, City of London and 'This is Africa' conference

DATE: Wednesday 28 March 2012

TIME: 10.00am - 5.00pm (registration from 9.30am)

VENUE: City of London venue (tbc)

A summary report of the conference is available here

Speakers included:

  • Baroness Lindsay Northover, Government Whip & Spokesperson on International Development
  • Sam Gyimah MP, UK Parliamentary International Development Committee
  • Chi Onwurah MP, Shadow Minister Innovation Science & Digital Infrastructure
  • Gilbert Mbesherubusa, Vice President, African Development Bank
  • Susie Lonie, Co-Creator, M-PESA and SJL CS Ltd
  • Michael Joseph, Vodafone Group & World Bank Adviser
  • Lanre Akinola, Editor, This is Africa (Financial Times Ltd)
  • Claire Alexandre, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Mahesh Mishra, UK Department for International Development
  • Quan Le, GMX Consulting Ltd
  • V. Claude Ramazani Mwambo, Central Bank of the Congo
  • Usoro Anthony Usoro, MTN
  • Christine Hougaard, Finmark Trust
  • Leon Isaacs, International Association of Money Transfer Networks
  • Shane Riedel, Director, Compliance, Citigroup
  • Dominic Peachey, Flawless Money Ltd
  • Lucy Kinunda, Director, National Payment Systems, Bank of Tanzania
  • Lola Adebanji, EMEA Regional Lead, Mobile Initiatives, Citigroup
  • Eli Hini, MTN Ghana
  • Cicero Torteli, Freeddom
  • Matthew Dill, Visa Inc
  • Prateek Shrivastava, Monitise Group Plc

Revenues from mobile payment transactions through mobile money payments services such as M-PESA in Kenya are estimated to reach approximately US$265 billion by 2015, up from approximately US$25 billion in 2010. Much of the innovation and revenue opportunities are concentrated in the developing world and high growth emerging economies in regions such as Africa, Asia Pacific (APAC) and the Middle East, where more than one billion people have access to a mobile phone but little, if any, have access to formal financial services. Across these regions, the mobile money user base will account for almost 85 per cent of mobile money users worldwide by 2013.

The Foreign Policy Centre (FPC) in partnership with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and in association with the City of London and This is Africa, the FT's bi-monthly magazine, hosted this one day London conference focused on how to regulate and expand the provision of mobile payments services across Africa and beyond. The event aimed to develop an evidence-based understanding of the risks and challenges associated with regulating and expanding mobile payments services in a global age of financial austerity and economic uncertainty. Through a series of main plenary sessions and working group discussions, the aim of the event was to bring together and pool the thinking of many of the experts and specialists operating in the global mobile money sector. The conference sought to promote greater dialogue, an exchange of ideas and partnership between financial regulators, telecommunications network providers, manufacturers, banks (and financial institutions), technology providers, development practitioners, consumer groups and many other key stakeholders. After the event, two outputs were produced:

Some presentations from the conference are available to download:

Download Conference flyer (240 kilobyte PDF)


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