Although there is no established methodology for measuring the volume of initiatives focusing on private sector development, it is clear that Official Development Assistance targeted at the private sector for development is steadily increasing.
With the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 goals, the world now has the most ambitious, diversified and broad-based development roadmap in history. This milestone, however, also comes with the challenge of mobilizing the colossal financial resources needed to finance the implementation of the goals for Sustainable Development.
The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa) through its development arm, the Africa Trade Union Development Network (ATUDN) has keenly followed and participated in this developmental discourse. In 2016 the network commissioned a study to discern the development effectiveness of supporting the private sector with ODA funds focusing on PPP projects in Zambia, Malawi and Senegal. The study unearthed intriguing findings on how PPP projects are perceived among government technocrats, on the capacity of developing countries to negotiated such projects and how the PPPs have a bearing on labour rights.
It is against this background that ITUC-Africa, through the ATUDN, held in Blantyre (Malawi) from the 28th February to the 1st March, a colloquium on financing for development with a special focus on blended finance and PPPs, with the view of assessing their effectiveness in bringing about the desired development results as capsulated in the Agenda 2030. It has also increased the capacity of African trade unions and SO / CSOs to influence the decisions of national governments, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and the African Union (AU) with regard to economic development policies.
The colloquium brought together about 25 participants consisting of ATUDN members, trade union leaders, Solidarity organisations (SOs/CSOs), and representatives of International development partners/multilateral bodies.
In conclusion we must retain :
1. ODA should be solidarity based and focused on the poor and the vulnerable
2. Governments must uphold a rights-based approach to development through the rule of law and social dialogue
3. Multinational businesses must be held to account
4. Governments must set standards for aid effectiveness, measuring impacts and results.
5. Governments must support SMEs and the social economy, and must tackle informality
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