CSEND Side Events at UNCTAD XIII, 21-26 April 2012, Doha, Qatar

CSEND organized a side event on Monday, 23rd April titled ‘Linking human capital development with employability organizational and national competitiveness for sustainable growth and social cohesion’, from 12.30-14.30 hrs at Qatar conference site QNNC.

Presentations were made by Prof Raymond Saner, Diplomacy Dialogue, Geneva, Mrs Shaza Khalil and Mr. Ganim Al-Naimi, both from Qatar Foundation, Prof Lichia Saner Yiu, CSEND and Dr. Magdi Faharat, UN-ECA who also acted as discussant.


Presentations were based on research findings focusing at the national, regional and organizational levels of education and training for trade capacity building. The main points included:

  • Wealth is created by a nation’s competition policies and development strategies; monopolies are not conducive for wealth creation
  • National competitiveness requires appropriate policies to build on existing advantages. These should focus on “trade in tasks” and “trade in value creation” rather than only on comparative advantage.
  • Studies show a mismatch between skills set and labour market needs in many developing countries resulting in unemployment and wasted financial resources and misdirected educational policies requiring urgent reform of their educational systems and enterprise training system
  • Qatar Foundation is focusing on unlocking human capital by organizing education and training in an effective and efficient manner using the ISO 10015 standard to ensure individual learning and organizational performance improvement.

Participants from mostly African countries attended the side event representing African CSOs. Comments and questions from the participants confirmed the organisers’ assessment that most of the African DCs and LDCs experience serious problems with their respective educational systems that often cannot ensure employability of its young generation.

In regard to training of human resources of enterprises, participants also reported that training is often not available and if available at all, it is often ineffective and training methodology remains mostly based on lecturing without practical learning opportunities. These comments, albeit very limited in regard to sample size, suggest that trade capacity building (EIF, AfT, TRTA) should be re-assessed from a quality assurance perspective otherwise learning objectives and train-of-trainer technology transfer cannot be taken for granted when conducting trade facilitation and trade capacity development projects.


Follow-on activity:

Subsequent to the side event, several of the participants asked for more information about the Qatar Foundation, its mission, activities and possible support for African Developing Countries and Least Developed Countries.

The organizers of the CSEND Side Event conveyed to their colleagues at the Qatar Foundation the participants’ interest for more dialogue between them and representatives of the Qatar Foundation.

The response was positive and a second side-event could be organized in collaboration with Mr. Djely K.Samoura, president of two African CSOs (CONGAF, CAPSDH) from the Republic of Guinea Conkray.

The follow-on event was scheduled on 25th April from 14.00-15.30 Hrs in Room 103 of QNNC. A large group of participants attended this second event which was co-organised by Mr. Samoura, Prof Saner, Dr Saner Yiu, UN-ECA representative Dr Magdi Faharat and representatives of the African Union (Mrs Treasure Maphanga, Director, Trade and Industry in Addis Abbeba and Mr. Fouzi Gsouma, AU representative, Geneva).

Also present amongst the participants were the Ministers of Commerce of the Republic of Guinea (Conakry) and of the Republic of Ivory Coast and 21 other participants from different African and North African countries.

The session consisted of a presentation by a representative of the Qatar Foundation’s communication department who presented the Qatar Foundation’s mission and activities which was followed by interventions from different participants who expressed their strong interest in future cooperation between the Qatar Foundation and their respective countries.

pdf Unctad side event synopsis

pdf Introduction by Raymond Saner

pdf Experiences of Qatar Foundation by Al Naimi and Khalil

pdf Experiences of strengthening labour market governance by Lichia Saner-Yiu

pdf Conclusions by Raymond Saner