Saturday, February 23, 2008

South Centre participates in deliberations of the African Group for upcoming UNCTAD XII

On 22 February, the South Centre contributed to the deliberations of the African Group on the preparatory phase for UNCTAD XII.

Mr. Vicente Paolo Yu, Coordinator of the Global Governance for Development Programme and Mr. Ermias Biadgleng, Program Officer for the Innovation & Access to Knowledge Program at the South Centre were present for this meeting held in Montreux, Switzerland.

Mr. Biadgleng elucidated on the channels of technology transfer and the link between foreign direct investment (FDI) flows and accumulation and reproduction of knowledge. He cautioned that capacity building in the South will not occur unless there was a government support for training and skills acquirement. It also required foreign companies setting up businesses in Africa to start relying more on employees from the local populations rather than bring in their own managerial staff.

The presentation delivered by Mr. Vicente Yu focused on the disastrous effects of Climate Change and its impact on Africa. According to Mr. Yu, despite negligible contribution of African countries to the global carbon emissions they will have to bear a heavy cost resulting from decrease in agricultural output and the associated loss in employment, compounded by their lack of capacity and financial resources to adapt to climate change.