New Private Sector Forum for Development
Mr Tom Kitt TD, Minister of State for Development and Human Rights is pleased to announce that the first meeting of the Private Sector Forum for Development will take place at Enterprise Ireland, Merrion Hall, Strand Road, Dublin, on Monday 19th April at 11.00 am. In addition, the Minister is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr Liam FitzGerald, CEO of United Drug as chair of the Forum.
The Private Sector Forum for Development was established by Minister Kitt to promote linkages between the Irish private sector and the private sector in developing countries where Development Cooperation Ireland is currently concentrating its efforts.
The first meeting of the Forum hopes to identify companies with interest in an involvement in this area and to facilitate and encourage that interest by assisting the development of partnerships and mentoring with emerging enterprises in these developing economies.
To stimulate the debate on issues surrounding private sector engagement in the challenging environment in Sub Saharan Africa, the first meeting of the Private Sector Forum will be addressed by Mr Niall FitzGerald KBE, Chairman of Unilever PLC and Vice Chairman of Unilever N.V. who will deliver a keynote address on his experience of such engagements.
The meeting will also be addressed by Mr Donal Tierney, Group Chief Executive of Cross Vetpharm plc, who has direct experience of working in both Tanzania and Uganda.
The motivation for the Minister Kitt’s initiative is the desire to engage in a broad based war on poverty using all of “the tools of a wealthy developed country”. Much progress has been made in developing countries in recent years in areas like health and education and there is a broad based commitment on HIV/AIDS. However assitance in the development of a thriving private sector has not been given the same attention.
“In Ireland the private sector has never before been formally asked to become involved in development, and through the chairmanship of Liam FitzGerald, I am convinced that the business community here will respond positively.”
“By encouraging the Irish private sector to become involved both altruistically and commercially, I hope to assist in fostering an enterprise culture in our partner countries. I believe the Irish private sector can play a crucial role in assisting less developed countries to trade out of poverty.”