THE READER 2006 – Implementing Sustainable Private Sector Development

THE READER 2006 – Implementing Sustainable Private Sector Development:

Striving for Tangible Results for the Poor

This year the Reader focuses on sustainable private sector development strategies. The 2006 Reader by Alexandra O. Miehlbradt and Mary McVay, edited by Jim Tanburn.

The 2006 Reader Content:

Private Sector Development: What’s Next?

Systemic Market Development in Action

Current Trends in Reforming the Business Environment

Developing Value Chain Systems that Benefit the Poor

Foundation Markets

Relief to Market Development in Crisis-Affected Economies

Accountability for Results in Reducing Poverty

Progress and Challenges in Implementing Sustainable Private Sector Development: Striving for Tangible Results for the Poor

Annexes: Training and Events, Websites, Bibliography

New ILO study says youth unemployment rising

New ILO study says youth unemployment rising,
with hundreds of millions more working but living in poverty

The number of unemployed youth aged 15 to 24 rose over the past decade, while hundreds of millions more are working but living in poverty, according to a new report by the International Labour Office (ILO). While the number of young unemployed increased from 74 million to 85 million, or by 14.8 per cent between 1995 and 2005, more than 300 million youth, or approximately 25 per cent of the youth population, were living below the US $2 per day poverty line.

The ILO report estimates that at least 400 million decent and productive employment opportunities – simply put, new and better jobs – will be needed in order to reach the full productive potential of today’s youth. The report also says youth are more than three times as likely to be unemployed than adults and that the relative disadvantage is more pronounced in developing countries, where youth represent a significantly higher proportion of the labour force than in developed economies.

‚Despite increased economic growth, the inability of economies to create enough decent and productive jobs is hitting the world’s young especially hard‘, said ILO Director-General Juan Somavia. ‚Not only are we seeing a growing deficit of decent work opportunities and high levels of economic uncertainty, but this worrying trend threatens to damage the future economic prospects of one of our worlds‘ greatest assets – our young men and women.‘

The report emphasizes that today’s youth face serious vulnerabilities in the world of work and warns that a lack of decent work, if experienced at an early age, may permanently compromise their future employment prospects. The report adds urgency to the UN call for development of strategies aimed at giving young people a chance to maximize their productive potential through decent employment. (ILO News)

Policy Response to Youth Unemployment in Latin America

Policy Response to Youth Unemployment, Underemployment and
Informal Employment in Latin American Countries‘

Latin American countries face important labor market problems, the labor situation being particularly critical for youth, whose unemployment rates are more than double those of adults. Self-employment programs constitute a relatively recent and appealing policy option. Their principal aim is to develop the abilities of entrepreneurial youth to run their own businesses. In the Latin American context, where wage-earning labor demand is insufficient to absorb the increasing labor supply; the principal advantage of this type of program over other policy options is that they are less likely to produce crowding-out effects, that is, to transfer unemployment from policy beneficiaries to non-beneficiaries.

Impact evaluations of two Peruvian self-employment programs targeted at disadvantaged youth find positive effects of these programs on the probability of business creation and on beneficiaries‘ earnings. However, empirical evidence of the impacts of self-employment programs is still incipient and much has to be done in this area. Nevertheless, self-employment programs appear as an attractive policy response to youth unemployment, especially taking into account the Latin American context; and therefore they must be regarded as an important component of the global employment creation strategy in these countries. (Contributed by Miguel Jaramillo, dgPoverty Advisor)

Germany to focus G8 on African governance

When it takes on the presidency of the G8 next year Germany proposes to build ‘reforming partnerships’ with well-governed African states. The agenda differs from that of Britain’s in focusing not on increased funding but rather on encouraging good governance. German Chancellor Angela Merkel observed that the G8 has achieved a great deal in cooperation with this important continent. Official Site of the G8 Summit 2007:

World Bank Africa Development Indicators 2006

Fewer conflicts and increased economic growth has made 2005 a turning point for the continent. Its annual study of the continent found that 16 African states had managed to maintain annual economic growth of more than 4.5% since the 1990s. Meanwhile, the number of African conflicts had fallen from a peak of 16 in 2002 to five in 2005. On a more negative note, the bank said foreign investment in the continent was just $10.1bn in 2004, only 1.6% of global foreign investment and that more than 50% of the funds were spent in Nigeria and Sudan. The report also highlighted the difficulty of starting a business in many parts of Africa – taking, across the continent, an average of 64 days. In more positive vein, the bank’s report said that countries including Senegal, Mozambique, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Uganda and Ghana were on course to meet the target of halving poverty by 2010 – five years ahead of schedule.

2006 Corruption Perceptions Index reinforces link between poverty and corruption.

The 2006 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), launched on November 6 by Transparency International, points to a strong correlation between corruption and poverty, with a concentration of impoverished states at the bottom of the ranking. The 2006 CPI shows the machinery of corruption remains well-oiled, despite improved legislation. ‚Corruption traps millions in poverty,” said Transparency International Chair Huguette Labelle. ‚Despite a decade of progress in establishing anti-corruption laws and regulations, today’s results indicate that much remains to be done before we see meaningful improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest citizens.”

Information Economy Report 2006

UNCTAD’s Information Economy Report 2006 has been produced, like its predecessors in the E-commerce and Development Report series, to highlight the implications for developing countries of the changes that ICT and e-business are allowing in the productive, commercial and financial spheres. The Report is intended to help developing countries to narrow the digital divide and to become more competitive through the adoption of ICTs and e-business. The Report analyzes the specific policy challenges facing developing countries, proposes possible means to address them and identifies and disseminates existing international best practice.

Latin America: European Commission proposes Association Agreements

Central America & Andean Community: European Commission proposes
negotiating directives for Association Agreements

The European Commission has proposed that the EU should start negotiations for Association Agreements with Central America and the Andean Community in 2007. Once the Council has approved the negotiating directives, the Commission will engage in negotiations for comprehensive agreements, governing all facets of relations between the EU and these regions (political dialogue, cooperation and trade). Benita Ferrero-Waldner, European Commissioner for External Relations and Neighbourhood Policy, said: ‚The Commission has delivered on the commitments made last May in Vienna. I believe that these Agreements will consolidate existing long-standing links with both regions and will provide the right framework to deepen and move forward our relations to our mutual benefit. I trust that we will able to launch negotiations at the beginning of next year.”

Launch of WIDER ‚World Distribution of Household Wealth” Study

The richest 2% of adults in the world own more than half of global household wealth according to the World Distribution of Household Wealth study, the first of its kind to cover all countries in the world and all major components of household wealth, including financial assets and debts, land, buildings and other tangible property. The UNU-WIDER study is the first of its kind to cover all countries in the world and all major components of household wealth, including financial assets and debts, land, buildings and other tangible property.

GTZ’s Contribution to Creating Better Business Environments for Enterprise Development

GTZ’s product-oriented knowledge management system brings together conceptual approaches and the practical experience acquired in Asia and worldwide. A new Website contains a selection of some of the key documents that set out GTZ’s concept and experience, specifically highlighting the approaches and good practices which were be presented at the Asia Consultative Conference.