14 December 2020 | COVID-19 and Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions: Challenges and actions to protect the economic recovery in Africa Event

THe African Union Commission (AUC) and Overseas Development Institute (ODI) with the support of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will be hosting an online event on “COVID-19 and Investor State Dispute Settlement provisions: Challenges and actions to protect the economic recovery in Africa” on Monday 14 December 2020.

The purpose of this event is twofold. Firstly, it aims to discuss the use of ISDS by investors in the current context and assess the impact that it may have on African states. It will discuss both the legality of potential claims and the economic assessment of the ISDS actions. Secondly, the event will discuss the options available to governments to protect their countries and people from these claims. It also aims to explore the political discussions that can be undertaken with the agreement of counterparts to, for example, suspend the scope of these provisions.

June 2020| Negotiating and implementing investment policies in the AfCFTA – Online Capacity building event

Economic transformation is one of the main pillars of the African Union Agenda 2063. Increasing trade and investment in general and specifically amongst AU Member States is critical to achieve economic transformation and the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) helps to achieve both goals.
Phase I of the negotiations finalised in late 2017 established protocols on the liberalisation of intra-African trade in goods and services as well as the Dispute Settlement Mechanism. Phase II, launched in early 2018 and to be concluded in early 2020, will be oriented towards including provisions on investment, competition policy and intellectual property rights. The increase of intra and extra-African investment in Africa is critical to developing and improving the productive capabilities required to raise productivity and create employment.

4 November 2019 | Consultation on Cambodia’s Strategic Framework for the Digital Economy

The Royal Government of Cambodia (RGC), Digital Economy Policy Working Group, in partnership with the SET programme and supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), are hosting a consultation on RGC’s ‘Strategic Framework for Cambodia’s Digital Economy’ in Phnom Penh on 4 November 2019.

The half-day consultation will focus on the opportunities and challenges to inclusion posed by Cambodia’s transition to a digital economy, including the role that digital skills development can play in addressing these challenges. Consultation outcomes will inform the framework’s development.

July 2019 | Cambodia’s Economic Transformation and Skills for the Digital Economy – Government and Private Sector Engagement

SET is preparing a study to gain a better understanding of the role of appropriate and good quality education and skills in preparing for a digital economy. The study will support the Cambodian Government in its digital economy policy development.

To this end, SET and Cambodian Development Resource Institute (CDRI) team members engaged with a variety of representatives from government and the private sector in Cambodia in July 2019 to discuss the quality of skills for the digital economy, the impact of the digital economy on Cambodia’s transformation model and the quality and implementation of government policies

16 May 2019 | Launch Event: MSMEs and Kenya’s Big Four Agenda

On 16 May 2019, the SET programme, in partnership with the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, Government of Kenya, Msingi East Africa and Invest in Africa held the ‘Growing an Inclusive Economy’ event to launch the SET report ‘Integrating Kenya’s micro and small firms into leather, textiles and garments value chains: Creating jobs under Kenya’s Big Four agenda.’ The Hon. Peter Munya, MGH, Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, officially launched the report, praising it, and outlining steps the Government of Kenya is already taking to implement its recommendations.

26 February 2019 | Prospects for Economic Transformation in Cambodia: Scoping New Activities

Tuesday 26 February 2019
Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Cambodia Development Resource Institute (CDRI), in partnership with the SET programme at the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and supported by Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, host a workshop on prospects for Cambodia’s economic transformation in Phnom Penh on 26 February 2019.Cambodia has achieved 7% per annum growth over the last decade, which has spurred job creation in garments, tourism and agriculture. However, the economy faces challenges of diversification and further economic transformation, especially in the face of major challenges in sectors such as garments.

28 November 2018 | Digital Transformation in Kenyan Manufacturing and Job Creation

Amidst the many opportunities associated with the use of digital technologies in Kenya manufacturing, one concern expressed commonly is the impact technological change might have on labour. Since manufacturing forms part of Kenya’s Big Four agenda, the implications of growing digitalisation, both within Kenya and globally, brings into question the very role of manufacturing as a development pathway and a generator of employment.

This event, hosted in partnership with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), explores how digital technologies are affecting labour in Kenyan manufacturing and the discussion will identify policy priorities for digitally transforming Kenyan’s manufacturing sector and creating more productive jobs.

4 October 2018 | Financing Tanzania’s Five-Year Development Plan 2016/17 – 2020/21

The Tanzanian government laid out ambitious industrialisation goals in its Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP II) 2016/17 – 2020/21, and the subsequent implementation plan. However, for those goals to be realised, progress must be made in a number of key development projects identified in the plan across the energy, transport, industry, agriculture, and minerals sectors. The challenge for the government lies in garnering sufficient finance from the private sector to move these projects forward.
This high-level workshop, hosted by the government of Tanzania and ODI, aims to address this challenge by bringing together government and potential investors and financiers to discuss constraints to financing for the key projects and to explore how, through public-private partnerships and other mechanisms, Tanzania’s industrialisation vision can be realised.

10 September 2018 | Kick-Starting Economic Transformation in Rwanda: Main Takeaways

Rwanda has committed itself to economic transformation as a pillar of its seven-year government programme, the National Strategy for Transformation (NST, 2017-24). The strategy has at its core the goal of generating 214,000 new jobs per year for the next seven years.
On 10 September 2018, the Rwandan Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM) and the Supporting Economic Transformation (SET) team hosted a high-level roundtable: ‘Kick-starting Rwanda’s economic transformation: what needs to be done, when and by whom?’.

8 August 2018 | Presentation | Skills Development Funds: Lessons from Asia

The SET programme is working with the Aung Myin Hmu (AMH) Garment Skills Training Centre, based in Yangon, Myanmar, to support its long-term sustainability, and to influence the development of the Myanmar Government’s skills development law, specifically a proposed skills development fund (SDF). Initial analysis of SDF models in other Asian countries was presented to stakeholders including senior figures at the Myanmar Ministry of Labour, Immigration and Population (MOLIP) at a meeting in Yangon in August 2018. Following the meeting, a multi-stakeholder SDF Technical Committee was set up by MOLIP, and Dr Krishnan addressed its first meeting on 11 August.

20 July 2018 | Kenya Trade Week & Exposition Breakfast: Launch of Kenya-UK Trade Study

On 20th July 2018, the Kenyan Export Promotion Council (EPC) hosted the breakfast launch of SET’s latest report, Kenya-UK trade and investment relations: taking stock and promoting exports to the UK.  The event also served as the opening of the EPC’s Trade Week, to celebrate 25 years of promoting Kenya’s exports.

18 July 2018 | Building the Capabilities of MSMEs in Manufacturing to Support Kenya’s Big Four Agenda

The SET programme, in partnership Kenya’s Executive Office of the Presidency, convenes government representatives, manufacturing firms, funders and industry leads in special economic zones (SEZs) and export-processing zones to discuss the importance of SEZ building for the ‘Big Four’ agenda and the role of micro-, small-and medium-sized enterprises within this. With manufacturing forming a core part of the industrialisation ‘pillar’ of the Big Four agenda, SEZs can be an important tool for addressing constraints to growth in the sector, such as infrastructure and energy supply. MSMEs are crucial agents of growth in manufacturing, and overall, represent 90% of Kenyan employment. However, they face considerable challenges in expanding and integrating into value chains. 

17 July 2018 | Financing Garment Manufacturing in Kenya

On 17 July 2018, the SET programme at ODI, in partnership with the Kenyan Ministry of Industry, Trade and Cooperatives, convened a group of manufacturing firms, financers, Government representatives and others, to discuss Kenyan manufacturing within the industrialisation ‘pillar’ of President Kenyatta’s ‘Big Four’ agenda, and opportunities and challenges in the financing of textiles and garment manufacturing.

The workshop sought to bring firms and potential investors together to talk through constraints on both sides, and to begin to build relationships to support investments in the long term.

20 June 2018 | ACET African Transformation Forum: Manufacturing Chapter Session

SET has worked closely with the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET) since the first African Transformation Forum (ATF) in 2016.

ACET, in collaboration with the Government of Ghana, hosts the second ATF on June 20-21 2018. The ATF is a unique, policy-focused event that will bring together leading experts and practitioners to share perspectives on how to accelerate job growth, boost investment, and implement transformation policies.

5-6 June 2018 | Financing the Development of Special Economic Zones in Tanzania

Tanzania has registered relatively little progress to date in establishing industrial parks and special economic zones (SEZs). None of the SEZ projects included in the country’s second Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP II) have yet been realised. The private sector is increasingly expected to step in to develop new zones. Securing the necessary finance to develop these zones still appears to be challenging, although negotiations to attract investment into certain zones, such as the Bagamoyo Port project, are more advanced.

Against this backdrop, the SET  programme held a two-day workshop in Dar es Salaam in June 2018 to discuss options for financing the development of SEZs and related infrastructure in Tanzania.

23 March 2018 | Digitalisation and the future of manufacturing in Africa

The growing digitalisation of economies and the associated rapid spread of advanced technologies like 3D printers, robots and cloud computing has a significant impact on manufacturing production globally. While the digital divide between developed and developing countries (particularly those in sub-Saharan Africa) is still significant, implying that low-income countries benefit less from digitalisation, there are important international pathways that affect the future of manufacturing-led development in Africa. Given this, the panel will discuss the major opportunities and threats that the fast-expanding digital economy poses for low and middle-income countries, which have traditionally used manufacturing as a first step towards economic transformation.

22 February 2018 | How ‘smart’ trade policy can help Africa industrialise

Despite promising signs of economic growth, many African countries are struggling to develop the strong industrial sector required for economic transformation and job creation. Fresh thinking is needed on how to achieve Africa’s industrialisation objectives, with trade and trade policy increasingly being looked to as key tools for the task. Much recent research has explored this idea by analysing the extent to which current trade policies and tariff structures are positively contributing to the content’s industrialisation policy, and providing assessments of what African economies can do to industrialise ‘smartly’ through trade. This event sees an expert panel debate these issues and seeks to put forward concrete policy recommendations for African economies looking to realise their industrialisation ambitions.

4 December 2017 | Launch event: Adjusting to rising costs in Chinese light manufacturing

On 4 December 2017, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Center for New Structural Economics (CNSE) at Peking University, Beijing, hosted the launch of the ODI–CNSE joint report, Adjusting to rising costs in Chinese light manufacturing: what opportunities for developing countries?
The report presents the findings of a survey of 640 light manufacturing firms in China’s Pearl River and Yangtze River Deltas, in an effort to understand the pressures facing Chinese light manufacturing firms and such firms’ responses to these challenges, and especially their interest in investing ‘out’ into countries in Africa and the rest of Asia.
Regional launch events were held in Ningbo in the Yangtze River Delta region and in Guangzhou in the Pearl River Delta on 11 and 12 December 2017.

13 December 2017 | Trade, Trade Policy and Economic Transformation at the WTO MC11

Economic transformation is crucial for the type of growth that reduces poverty, create jobs and is resilient to shocks. But many low-income countries have failed to transform successfully. Trade has nearly always been a key component in those countries that have transformed successfully. This event unpacks the role that trade has played in the process of transformation in a number of countries and regions and discuss how trade policy provisions such as those currently under discussion at the WTO can further contribute.

26 October 2017 | Pathways to Prosperity and Inclusive Job Creation in Nepal

On 26th October 2017, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) in collaboration with South Asia Watch on Trade, Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) presented new research on job creation and pathways to prosperity in Nepal. This research was launched at a high-profile event in Kathmandu, attended by stakeholders from the four sectors studied, development partners and various private sector associations including the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, the ILO and the Confederation of Nepalese Industries. The Honourable Vice Chairman of the Nepal National Planning Commission, Swarnim Wagle also attended.

30 October 2017 | The future of manufacturing-led development

DOWNLOAD EVENT REPORT With increasing use of advanced digital technologies in manufacturing, such as 3D printing, robots and cloud computing, the landscape of technology and globalisation patterns is altering. As manufacturing becomes more automated, the criteria of being an attractive production location changes from offering inexpensive labour to lower capital costs and more advanced technology. … Continue reading “30 October 2017 | The future of manufacturing-led development”

14 September 2017 | A UK-Liberia partnership: investing in infrastructure, energy and agriculture

On 14th September 2017, the Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in partnership with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Liberia National Investment Commission (LNIC), hosted a workshop and networking event in London. The event’s aims were two-fold: firstly, to explore the state of Liberia’s economy and the potential opportunities and challenges for foreign investors, and secondly, to facilitate relationship-building between Liberia and UK-based international investors seeking to opportunities to support development in the sub-Saharan African country.

5 September 2017 | Justin Yifu Lin: How to jump-start developing economies

For decades, low-income countries have been trying to catch up with the economic progress made by industrialised, high-income nations, but few have succeeded. So how can low-income countries jump-start their economies and achieve the structural transformation that can create jobs and improve livelihoods? To discuss this issue, this event hears from leading development economist, former chief economist for the World Bank and advisor to Chinese and African governments, Professor Justin Lin. Exploring themes from two of his recently published books, ‘Beating the Odds: Jump-Starting Developing Economies’ and ‘Going Beyond Aid: Development Cooperation for Structural Transformation’.

5 July 2017 | 10 policy priorities for Kenyan manufacturing launch

Hosted in partnership with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), this launch event saw the introduction to Kenyan policymakers and political leaders of SET and KAM’s recent publication, Ten policy priorities for transforming manufacturing and creating jobs in Kenya. This event featured contributions from Dr Neil Balchin, ODI Research Fellow, KAM’s CEO Phyllis Wakiaga, Vice Chair Sachen Gudka and Chairperson Florence Mutahi, as well as leading economist Anzetse Were. The occasion also saw commitments made by political parties and coalitions to prioritise Kenya’s industrialisation, and the development of the manufacturing sector in particular.

5 June 2017 | ACET PACT Manufacturing Chapter Launch

Manufacturing is also a key element in the African Development Bank’s Hi-Fives (Industrialize Africa) and a priority area in Goal number two of the African Union’s Vision 2063. ACET in partnership with the Oversees Development Institute (ODI) and the Government of Ethiopia organised the manufacturing chapter meeting of PACT. The aim of the manufacturing meeting was to kick start a continuous conversation for African leaders to shape their countries’ industrialisation issues in the context of Africa’s transformation agenda.

14 March 2017 | Foreign direct investment and economic transformation in Myanmar: the role of the garment sector

On 14 March, SET hosted a workshop in Yangon to present and discuss the findings of the recent research paper, ‘Foreign direct investment and economic transformation in Myanmar’. Attendees explored questions around the role of the garment sector, including: what role does the garment sector play in promoting exports, employment and the transfer of skills in Myanmar? How does foreign investment contribute to Myanmar’s garment sector? And how can foreign investment, from China and other countries, further contribute to economic transformation in Myanmar?

23 February 2017 | The UK’s financial sector and sub-Saharan Africa: partnerships for development

On 23 February, SET, in partnership with the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Trade and Investment, hosted a private roundtable event in the Palace of Westminster, London. The event brought together representatives of developing countries with donors, private investors and representatives of the City of London to identify opportunities for private sector investment in sub-Saharan Africa. Amongst topics of discussion were the practical and financial challenges facing British investors seeking to finance development, including in sectors such as infrastructure, energy and manufacturing, ways to overcome barriers to the achievement of high-quality, sustainable economic transformation, and the growing role of development finance institutions.

22 March 2017 | Economic transformation: a new approach to inclusive growth

Economic transformation has the potential to reduce poverty and drive sustainable, inclusive growth in developing countries. Yet, efforts to promote transformational policies have not always proven to be successful; many low-income countries that have attempted to transform their economies have experienced low-quality, job-less growth with little in the way of genuine transformation. This ODI panel event sees the launch of SET’s flagship approach paper, and bring together key figures driving forward the transformation agenda to discuss: what is economic transformation, what does it mean for the world’s poorest, and how can it be supported in practice?

11 November 2016 | Trade in Services and Economic Transformation Roundtable

In collaboration with DFID, the ODI-SET team organised a Trade in Services Roundtable Event hosted at DFID London on 11 November 2016. The roundtable sought to unpack the key challenges and opportunities for trade in services in developing countries and identify what DFID can do over the next five years to support services. The event report summarises key thematic issues emerging based on roundtable reflections from representatives from ODI, TheCityUK, Commonwealth Secretariat, European University Institute, ILEAP, International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development, International Growth Centre, International Trade Centre, Sussex University, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, Centre for Global Development, and World Bank.

27 October 2016 | Effective Implementation and the Role of the Private Sector in Tanzania’s Five Year Development Plan

The SET programme, in collaboration with the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), organised a private sector consultative workshop on 27 October 2016 in Dar es Salaam. The workshop sought to build consensus around how to approach implementation of the FYDP II and on the core elements that should constitute a strategy and framework to guide the effective implementation of the Plan. In addition, the workshop was designed to develop a shared understanding of the practical roles that different stakeholders – both in the public and private sectors – should play in implementing the FYDP II.

29 August 2016 | Supporting Manufacturing in Kenya

The key questions explored at this roundtable were around Kenyan manufacturing: Why is productivity low in manufacturing? Why is informality not decreasing with economic growth? Why is there a lack of linkages between services on the one hand, and manufacturing and agriculture on the other hand? And what can be done about these challenges? The SET team is currently scoping out support for Kenya’s transformation with analytical and other inputs. The roundtable aimed to discuss and develop this collaboratively.

TICAD VI 2016 | Africa’s Industrialisation and Economic Transformation

The SET programme will be participating at TICAD side events in partnership with (JICA and IDE-JETRO. Industrial development and economic transformation are crucial for Africa’s development, but there is a heated debate on how to achieve them. Three events will explore the respective roles of government and private sector in policy development and implementation for Africa’s industrialisation.

31 May 2016 | Supporting Economic Transformation in Nigeria

Overseas Development Institute (ODI), in conjunction with DFID Nigeria publicly launched a new SET paper on Supporting Economic Transformation in Nigeria in Abuja on 31st May 2016. The paper written by Nigerian and international experts draws on international experience from large developing countries that have managed to transform the structure of their economies, as well as the record of economic transformation and economic policy in Nigeria to date, to chart a way forward for Nigeria’s economic transformation efforts.

22 March 2016 | Supporting economic development: learning from success

Kick-starting more inclusive economic development processes in the world’s poorest countries is one of the most important remaining challenges in international development. However, because of the way politics works, it is also one of the most difficult. This is a reason for international development agencies to get involved. But it also means any support must be politically smart. This event examines lessons from two new ODI publications, a report edited by David Booth and co-authored with DFID economists and governance advisers, and an ODI Insights policy brief on economic development.

14-15 March 2016 | ACET African Transformation Forum

In March 2016, the African Center for Economic Transformation (ACET), in partnership with the Government of Rwanda, convened the first African Transformation Forum (ATF) in Kigali, Rwanda. The first objective of the ATF was to facilitate knowledge sharing and peer learning across global and African luminaries from the public and private sectors. The second objective of the ATF was to launch the Coalition for Transformation in Africa, a new leadership network organised in chapters, each addressing a specific thematic area. The SET team collaborated with ACET on background papers to inform discussion sessions on three areas.

14 January 2016 | Africa’s industrialisation: reversing the decline

Manufacturing plays a key role in the process of economic transformation that is required for high quality growth, job creation and sustained progress. Yet the share of manufacturing in GDP has been falling in Sub-Saharan Africa over the last three decades and was just 11% in 2014. Recent estimates indicate that the role of manufacturing in driving growth and transformation is likely to decline further. John Page joins a panel of experts to explore the challenges and prospects for industrialisation in Africa.The panel will discuss what caused the lack of industrialisation in sub-Saharan Africa and what can be done to improve it.

17 December 2015 | Trade Session at WTO Trade and Development Symposium

Economic growth is necessary for development. The increase in the quantity of resources available to produce and/or distribute is essential in the development process. However, economic growth alone does not guarantee all development objectives. The quality of economic growth matters, and it essential for sustained development that growth involves some form of productivity change and … Continue reading “17 December 2015 | Trade Session at WTO Trade and Development Symposium”

24 November 2015 | Lord Turner on finance and inclusive economic transformation

At the height of the global financial crisis in 2008/9, as the then chairman of the Financial Services Authority, Lord Turner argued that the City in London’s financial sector had become ‘socially useless’. In the following years, he played a leading role in the redesign of global banking regulation as Chairman of the International Financial Stability … Continue reading “24 November 2015 | Lord Turner on finance and inclusive economic transformation”

6 October 2015 | Shaping Tanzania’s Second Five Year Development Plan

The Government of Tanzania, through the President’s Office Planning Commission (POPC), has begun the process of preparing the second Five Year Development Plan (FYDP II) (2016/17 – 2020/21) focusing on the theme “Nurturing an Industrial Economy”. The POPC hopes to conclude the plan by June 2016. The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) is providing analytical support … Continue reading “6 October 2015 | Shaping Tanzania’s Second Five Year Development Plan”

23 September 2015 | Understanding Economic Transformation in Africa

Overseas Development Institute, London Where do we go wrong, and what do we need to do differently to understand economic transformation in Africa? Morten Jerven’s recent book “Africa, why economists get it wrong” questions what we really know about growth and economic transformation in Africa. He argues that mainstream economists have not used appropriate methodologies or … Continue reading “23 September 2015 | Understanding Economic Transformation in Africa”

2 July 2015 | Trade, Global Value Chains and Economic Transformation

Overseas Development Institute, London. Economic transformation involves the movement of factors of production toward higher productivity and/or value addition firms or sectors. It has traditionally been assessed through the degree of export diversification, taken as an outcome of the process. Trade can support this process, e.g. through its impact on firm competitiveness – access to … Continue reading “2 July 2015 | Trade, Global Value Chains and Economic Transformation”

23 June 2015 | Dani Rodrik: The future of economic transformation in developing countries

Leading economist Dani Rodrik shed light on the future of economic transformation in developing countries. For years, developing countries have tended to transition from agriculture to manufacturing to services. Yet recent evidence suggests that countries are running out of industrialisation options much sooner than expected.

15 June 2015 | China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa and how they support economic transformation

Overseas Development Institute, London. Dr Tang Xiaoyang, Associate Professor of International Relations at Tsinghua University discussed  China’s engagement with Africa through an analysis of  China’s Special Economic Zones in Africa and how they support economic transformation followed by a Q&A session. Download the PPT.

28 April 2015 | Kenya As A Services Hub: The Role Of Services In Economic Transformation

Intercontinental Hotel Nairobi. Public and private sector representatives met to discuss the potential for Kenya to become a services hub. The workshop assessed the role of services in economic transformation and job creation in Kenya, and included an in depth discussions of two services sectors – the IT enabled services and financial services sectors. The … Continue reading “28 April 2015 | Kenya As A Services Hub: The Role Of Services In Economic Transformation”

30 January 2015 | Using And Analysing Data For Economic Transformation

ODI, London. Experts from DFID, ODI, the World Bank, IMF, University of Groningen and Harvard Kennedy School discussed different data sources and methodological approaches for analysing economic transformation, with a focus on economic structures and trade data – as part of the SET data portal work. The workshop addressed the following key questions: what are … Continue reading “30 January 2015 | Using And Analysing Data For Economic Transformation”