Time: 11:00-13:30
Venue: Bergen Resource Centre for International Development Jekteviksbakken 31 (Juss II)
Opening lecture by Lars Engberg-Pedersen, DIIS

This is an event arranged in co-operation with Africa Network Norway.

Lars Engberg-Pedersen, is senior researcher and Head of the Research Unit, Poltics and Governance at DIIS. He is an expert on development assistance and is currently working on a project on the future of development assistance that explores the trends, challenges and constraints of development assistance in a changing world order.

Kjell Harald Dalen is senior advisor in the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, section for regional issues and development. He was Head of the Africa section from 1994-2000, and Norway's ambassador to Kenya from 2001-2005.

Johan Helland is senior researcher at CMI. He is a social anthropologist with extensive experience from research, consultancy and administrative work in Eastern and North-eastern Africa.

Arne Wiig is Research Director for the Poverty Reduction research group at CMI. He is an economist with extensive experience from research, policy analysis, lecturing and consultancy work. 

The debate will be led by Arne Tostensen who is senior researcher at CMI with more than 30 years of experience in research and consultancy work, principally in Eastern and Southern Africa.

The Africa Commission was launched by the Prime Minister of Denmark in 2008 to help Africa benefit more from globalisation. The Commission consisted of Heads of State and governments, politicians, experts, representatives from international and regional organisations as well as the business community, civil society and the academic world. The majority of the Commissioners were from Africa, which reflected the Commission’s overriding commitment to ensure African ownership of its recommendations and initiatives.

The Commission addressed ways to create employment for young people through private sector-led growth and improved competitiveness of African economies. Special emphasis was given to create decent jobs, foster entrepreneurship, and provide greater opportunities for young African women and men through education, skills development and access to finance. Drawing on existing analyses and best practices, the Commission’s aim was to make specific policy recommendations and devise concrete initiatives.

The report presents the findings of the Africa Commission, which worked during 2008-2009 to come up with effective means of creating private sector-led growth and employment for Africa’s youth. The Commission recommends a refocused agenda for international development cooperation with Africa and devises five concrete initiatives aimed at improving the employment opportunities for Africa’s growing youth population. The first part of the report presents the rationale for the priority focus; the second provides overall recommendations for international development cooperation with Africa; the third outlines key areas that are vital for private sector-led growth and the five concrete initiatives within the areas of competiveness, investment finance, young entrepreneurs, sustainable energy and post-primary education and research; and the fourth describes the way forward in the implementation of the recommendations.