INCLUDE Platform

Agnieszka Kazimierczuk


ORGANISATION: African Studies Centre Leiden

Agnieszka is a PhD candidate at the African Studies Centre (University of Leiden) and a junior researcher for the INCLUDE research project on the role of Dutch multinational companies (MNCs) in the promotion of productive employment in Kenya and Nigeria. Within the project, she focuses on Dutch companies operating in the flower and energy sector in Kenya. Agnieszka holds a BA in Economics from Warsaw University (Poland) and an MSc in International Development from the University of Amsterdam (UvA). Prior to working on her PhD, she has worked as a consultant, working on projects in the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, Ghana, Burkina Faso and Afghanistan. She is also a member of the PADev research team.


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Question of the week 22 2017-02-15 18:32:38
Dear Marcel,

Thank you for your reaction.

Is it possible for you to give some examples of the local companies, governments, civil society and knowledge institutions that the Dutch government consults  while designing your activities in the area of private sector development in developing countries. It will be enriching to learn more how such process of consultations is implemented, how their feedback is being evaluated and most importantly – how did you chose to consult these (and not other) partners.

In your statement you mention Dutch Employers Cooperation Program, Agriterra, PUM, CBI and fund partners of the Dutch Good Growth Fund – do you also support similar initiatives in Africa? If yes, what was the crucial argument for choosing them? If no, would there be an idea to do so?

Question of the week 22 2017-01-30 12:38:42
Dear Mr Dibo,

 

Thank you for your reaction. Do you have any suggestions how such process can be put in place and how and who should lead it.

I fully agree about the importance of creating conducive environment for a fruitful collaboration - but how to facilitate establishing of such environment, especially in the African context remain a question. Do you have any concrete examples you could share where it did happen/is happening?

 

Thank you in advance for your reaction.

Question of the week 22 2017-01-26 23:54:06
The lack of trust between DAC member countries and African private sector that impede the creation of innovative partnerships due to high risks of such ventures may be levelled out by their greater inclusion in the whole process already from the stage of drafting the policy and instrument development. This is why this question is of the highest importance but how to decide who should be represented and by whom is difficult to answer.

The first thought that comes to mind is to include the existing ‘general’ African business networks (such as i.e. Kenyan Association of Manufacturers (KAM) or national chambers of commerce), which are well embedded, connected and aware of their national political systems and use their established membership base to identify current problems, needs and the potential of the local private sector. I am therefore happy to hear that EEN has now two African members. This look to me as a step in the right direction and more similar inclusive initiative should follow.
 
Sector-specific associations, especially from sectors that are of particular interest and value for the commercial exchange between the two countries, should be considered as important partners to consult and involve as well.
 
It will be very difficult, in my opinion, to engage with individual African companies. The process risks to be dominated after all by the big and influential multinational companies already involved on the political level through their strong lobby groups.
 
The lack of active engagement of the African private sector in the dialogues on private sector development in Europe and other OECD-DAC countries is problematic. Such exclusion explains why most of the OECD DAC members’ private sector engagement mechanisms are still tied to their own private sector, and even if such links with the domestic private sector are not compulsory, the DAC members have a tendency to work with and through their own private sector to minimalize the risks of the collaboration and build on already established trust between themselves. This shows that the domestic commercial interest of the DAC countries remains the dominant motive behind their private sector engagement in development cooperation, which is in contradiction with the assumed development outcomes and their commitment to aid effectiveness principles. If we are serious about engaging the private sector in development, we need to find a way to include the African private sector in the process as well.

Question of the Week 9 2016-09-04 14:21:01
Targeted finance schemes could be used to promote inclusive businesses by supporting programmes that encourage employability.
Lack of practical skills and skills’ mismatch are often mentioned as reasons behind high unemployment rates, especially among African youth. Some multinational companies (MNCs) have already dedicated their own funding to sponsor initiatives that aim at closing the skills’ mismatch gap by providing training in the areas where the employment is desirable (and often aligned with the skills demand coming from the MNCs). They are also providing more internship possibilities for the studying youth to help them build needed experience and more practical skills. Lack of them often pushes the youth to the informal sector.  There is, therefore, a need to further support such initiatives, especially in partnership with public funding to replicate them beyond large MNCs and offer similar trainings and openings for interns among local (smaller) companies.

The above refers more to the formal sector as well as educated workforce. There is, however, also a major need to promote employability for the unskilled and uneducated workforce – as this will lead to a grater inclusion of the poorer members of the society. This can be done through targeted financing available for further expansion of already established businesses that provide large-scale employment possibilities for the unskilled labour (i.e. floriculture). To make the initiative even more inclusive and sustainable, such financing should be available only for businesses that scored high on responsibility and sustainability scale.

Question of the Week 5 2016-08-02 19:21:45
1. Less labels/certifications. An aligned major standard instead that also recognise small-holders and allows them gradual improvements

2. Value addition in country of origin (esp. processing)

3. Improved post-harvest infrastructure (incl. storage facilities, waste management, transportation)