SOMALIA, Mogadishu: In a photograph taken 23 October 2013 and released by the African Union-United Nations  Informtaion Support Team 25 October, a money exchanger counts Somali shilling notes on the streets of the Somali capital Mogadishu. Millions of people in the Horn of Africa nation Somalia rely on money sent from their relatives and friends abroad in the form of remittances in order to survive, but it is feared that a decision by Barclays Bank to close the accounts of some of the biggest Somali money transfer firms – due to be announced this week - will have a devastating effect on the country and its people. According to the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), an estimated $1.6 billion US dollars is sent back annually by Somalis living in Europe and North America. Some money transfer companies in Somalia have been accused of being used by pirates to launder money received form ransoms as well as used by Al Qaeda-affiliated extremist group al Shabaab group to fund their terrorist activities and operations in Somalia and the wider East African region. AU/UN IST PHOTO / STUART PRICE.

Unlocking private sector investment in fragile states

The Development Policy Forum, led by Friends of Europe, will organise a Policy Insight on private sector investment in fragile states in partnership with the IFC on the occasion of its 60th anniversary. Building on its six decades of experience, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) partners with the private sector to create opportunity and promote inclusive growth in emerging markets.


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Unlocking private sector investment in fragile states

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17.30 – 18.00 Welcome and registration of participants
18.00 – 19.15 Unlocking private sector investment in fragile states

Investing in fragile states means contending with damaged infrastructure and trade, weakened institutions, destroyed regulatory framework, and political uncertainty. In the poorest countries, the challenges also include access to clean water and lack of primary education. Despite the odds, however, a number of fragile states have made — or are making — remarkable progress and rebuilding at a rapid pace. Countries emerging from conflict typically require immediate humanitarian support, aid, and, in some cases, the deployment of peacekeepers. To grow beyond aid dependency, a strong private sector is essential for providing goods and services, generating tax revenues, and creating employment opportunities. However in 2012, only 6% of total global FDI to developing countries went to countries on the fragile states list. Finding ways to mobilise the private sector in conflict-ridden countries or so-called frontier markets must therefore be a key priority.

• How can Official Development Assistance (ODA) be better used to catalyse non-aid flows and behaviours?
• What challenges and opportunities exist for the private sector to bolster resilience and stability?
• Will the newly released European External Investment Plan (EEIP) be able to stimulate sustainable investment in Africa and the Neighbourhood?
• What conditions would be necessary for the private sector to invest in emerging markets and deliver the expected development impact?

19.15 – 19.45 Networking cocktail

Moderated by
Shada Islam / Director for Europe & Geopolitics at Friends of Europe


  • Nena Stoiljkovic

    International Finance Corporation Vice President, Blended Finance and Partnerships

  • Viwanou Gnassounou

    Assistant Secretary General for Sustainable Economic Development & Trade at the ‎African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) Secretariat

  • Harald Hirschhofer

    Senior Adviser at The Currency Exchange Fund (TCX)

  • Roberto Ridolfi

    Director for Sustainable Growth and Development at the European Commission Directorate General for International Cooperation and Development


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