This conference is part of a wider process where the UN General Assembly mandated UNCTAD to enhance understanding on these important issues and identify areas of consensus. SAIIA and GEG Africa also have a strong interest and expertise in these themes through their work on the African continent. Speakers and participants drew on the collective networks of these partners and included representatives from multinational development banks, regional and national development financial institutions, reserve funds, central banks and ministries, academia and UN experts.
The first day of the conference will focus primarily on multilateral development banks (MDBs) and how they can contribute to greater development. This includes both established MDBs such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the Development Bank of Southern Africa, as well as emerging development banks such as the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the New Development Bank. Latest research from the Global Economic Governance Africa Programme focused on the use of country systems by MDBs in Africa. Researchers from Kenya, Morocco and South Africa presented experiences and lessons learned from the use of country systems in these countries.
Day two of the conference explored the latest research on new and innovative inter-regional mechanisms and institutions and their development impact. These included regional mechanisms for the provision of long-term development finance (especially infrastructure), the use of different forms of regional funds and pools for short-term liquidity finance (such as the Chiang Mai Initiative and FLAR); novel payment systems to promote inter-regional investment and trade. It also presented an overview of the new regional social or industrial policies to boost regional consumption and production, which are the essential key success factor for development finance.