The Centre of Excellence and Innovative Fund for Local Government Finance and Local Economic Development Finance of the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) organized a plenary dedicated to Unlocking Finance and Impact for SMEs and PPPs in the Least Developed Countries in Africa.
In line with the main objective of the Forum; to “strengthen the role of the private sector in Africa as an engine of growth while capitalizing on the experiences and lessons learned from other parts of the world for the transformation of African economies and achievement of the aspirations of Agendas 2063 and 2030,”
The Plenary focused on one of nine themes of the Forum “Co-financing investments in key sectors of African transformation and alternative financing for the private sector”, while addressing other relevant topics such as public-private partnerships and south-south cooperation.
The Session had panelists like; Ms. Christel Alvergne, Head of West & Central Africa, UNCDF; Mr. Mohammad Abbadi, Senior Investment Manager, UNCDF; Mr. Yasin Sendaula, Assistant Commissioner for Urban Inspection, Ministry of Local Government, Uganda; among others with the following objectives;
Objectives include; 1) Ensure that LDCs remain at the center of global policy dialogues and proposed solutions, especially with regards to private sector development and blended finance instruments;
2) shed a light on how national and local governments can develop national platforms and mechanisms for local economic development and private sector development;
3) Share best practices from LDCs in developing pipelines of investable projects in catalytic sectors that drive local value chains that add value to local economies and serve as demonstration and proof of concept to markets, domestic banks and other financiers.
Topics around which the discussion was shaped included;
- Key challenges and opportunities to improve the role of the private sector in transforming African economies and achieving the SDGs
- Innovative financing mechanisms and instruments for enhancing private finance mobilization and local economic development in LDCs
- Policy and regulatory reforms needed to unlock finance for PPPs in LDCs
- Development of investible project pipelines that have measurable impact in LDCs
- Examples and stories of Dual Key investments in SMEs and PPPs in LDCs
- Long term collaboration and synergies to trigger private investments on the 2030 Agenda in LDCs
- South-south cooperation and exchange in transformation of African economies.
Final declaration and recommendations for UNCDF’s session include Madagascar recognizing that transformation of African economies and achievement of the aspirations of Agendas 2063 and 2030 will not be successful without promoting local economic development in the least developed countries (LDCs) in Africa where development needs are greatest and where resources are scarcest. That achieving the SDgs requires more support for national financial mechanisms to de-risk and provide technical assistance to SMEs and PPPs located in secondary cities in LDCs, such as Local Development Funds, Sovereign Funds, Strategic Funds, Development Banks, and Local Government Agencies. And finally, that South-South Cooperation is necessary to share experiences and find innovative solutions adapted to national contexts. Concrete examples from around the world need to be shared. The panel calls for a specific initiative from the African Union to present such examples to the entire African community.