Synthesis Documents

Making Markets Work for the Poor in Eastern and Southern Africa, ComMark Seminar, 12-14 March 2007

    The three day event was wide-ranging, with around thirty separate presentations grouped around themes such as factor markets, the role of business, international trade and globalization, agricultural value chains, service markets, HIV-AIDS, and local area development. The event attracted much interest, with over 160 participants from Government Departments, Donors and the Private Sector from across Southern and Eastern Africa. There was a particularly strong representation from RSA Government departments.

    Organisations presenting their experiences included ComMark, FinMark, DFID, CGAP, Technoserve, ILO, the Tourism Enterprise Programme (TEP) and various Southern African government initiatives. In addition, private companies such as Vodacom and Woolworths told participants about their experiences in harnessing the power of markets to reach millions of new consumers; the presentations are posted on the right hand side.

    Emerging areas of common interest included the role of the state and political economy in M4P, Green issues such as sustainability and global climate change, innovative private sector approaches, opportunities at the "base of the pyramid", overcoming informality, certification, global trade rules, the potential for regional approaches and the rise of consumer activism. The discussions highlighted the implications for whether and how M4P addresses these concerns, as well as a clear need to make M4P easier to understand and apply in a practical context.

    Summary of results
    A Summary of the Event, written by Alan Johnson of DFID, is posted on the right hand side under b); some of the entry, above, is excerpted from that report.

    In addition, here are some unsolicited comments received from participants: "I found the conference both interesting and relevant to our work, and especially appreciated the networking opportunities" "I am highly indebted to you all [the organisers]" "I really enjoyed the conference ... just wanted to say 'thank you very much'!!" "I really appreciate the valuable discussions we had ... I have learnt a great deal in the week ... it was a great experience and milestone" "It was a wonderful experience for me" "It was a great pleasure for us to participate in the ComMark conference. There was such a wealth of information from all the participants and the different case study presentations that added value."

    Associated Activities and Documents
    Synthesis Documents
    »Seventh Annual Seminar on Developing Service Markets and Value Chains - Chiang Mai, 18-22 September 2006 (English / French / Spanish)
    »Eighth Annual Seminar on Developing Service Markets and Value Chains - Chiang Mai, September 2007 (Reader in English/French/Spanish)
    »Making Markets Work (for the Poor)/M4P: Some key links, 2011