This event will explore how the private sector can best support investments and partnerships in least developed countries by working closely with LDC governments, multilateral and bilateral partners, and civil society to leverage their expertise, technology, and resources.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing social and economic inequalities at the global, national, and local levels. Due to preexisting structural barriers, LDCs have been particularly affected as the pandemic shook international trade, collapsed commodity prices, and disrupted supply chains — leading to a sharp deceleration in gross domestic product growth and a rise in poverty, food insecurity, and inequality.
Against this backdrop, LDCs require urgent attention and action from governments, the international development community, civil society, and the private sector alike if we are to ensure progress toward the Sustainable Development Goals. The private sector especially has an increasingly important role in driving investment opportunities and partnerships in LDCs.
New technologies and improved internet connectivity in LDCs have the potential to accelerate progress on the global goals and help countries emerge from the pandemic both stronger and more resilient. However, considerable cross-sector efforts and multistakeholder partnerships are required to empower and equip LDC governments with the financing, tools, and capacity needed to do so.
This event hosted by Devex in partnership with Microsoft will zoom in on five key areas for collaboration: connectivity, skilling, blended finance, multistakeholder partnerships, and good governance. The conversations will serve as a preview to the 5th United Nations Conference on Least Developed Countries taking place in Doha, Qatar in early 2023.
Opening remarks • Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex
Fireside chat: LDC5 and the private sector
• John Frank, vice president for U.N. affairs, Microsoft • Agnes Chimbiri, Malawi’s permanent representative to the U.N.• Moderator: Kate Warren, executive vice president and executive editor, Devex
Spotlight on Connectivity
• Tim Prewitt, CEO of The Hunger Project
Panel discussion: How multistakeholder partnerships can advance connectivity in LDCs
• Nic Rudnick, group CEO, Liquid Intelligent Technologies
• Celina Lee, CEO and co-founder, Zindi
• Louise James, managing director, Accenture Development Partnerships
• Mohamed (Rahman) Swaray, Minister of Information and Communications, Government of Sierra-Leone
• Alex Wong, Chief, Special Initiatives, Telecommunication Development Bureau, International Telecommunication Union
• Devex moderator: Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex
Spotlight on Energy: Sundaa Bridget-Jones, chief partnerships & advocacy officer, Global Energy Alliance for People and Planet
Spotlight on Climate: Kavita Sinha, director, Division of Private Sector Facility a.i, Green Climate Fund
Fireside chat: Supporting SME owners in LDCs
•Heidi Schroderus-Fox, Acting High Representative, UN-OHRLLS
• Patricia Veringa-Gieskes, Founder & CEO, The Job Factory
• Moderator: Kate Warren, executive vice president and executive editor, Devex
Spotlight on Skilling: Roberto Suárez Santos, secretary general, International Organisation of Employers, and John Frank, vice president for U.N. affairs, Microsoft, on the launch of a digital skilling initiative.
• Raj Kumar, president and editor-in-chief, Devex