When the Dutch private sector is involved in development in Africa, a dilemma may arise. The Dutch government claims that businesses could have a positive impact on local economic development on the continent in the longer term. But do their activities also benefit the poorest and marginalized groups? This dilemma was addressed at the ‘Africa Works!’ conference in Leiden, the Netherlands, on 16 and 17 October.
Assistance to small and medium enterprises only makes sense if it addresses the key constraints for SMEs and allows them to grow into larger and more productive enterprises.
Despite deep-rooted criticism of the private equity industry, the private equity model is increasingly being used as an instrument for sustainable growth of the private sector in developing countries. SMEs are no exception.
As long as the northern part of Mali is not occupied by armed troops, it will remain insecure and dangerous.