BEI Weekly Update - 8th March 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

Happy International Women’s Day!  Best wishes from all our team, however you are marking the day.

Yesterday morning I was talking to a group of bankers in Singapore about how to approach geopolitical risk in increasingly complicated and troubled times. At one moment, we were discussing the (relative) demise of globalisation, but at the next we were exploring the impacts of the crisis in the Middle East on banks in SE Asia.   Everything is in some way connected, but the challenge lies in untangling the connections and working out what matters. At the same time, there’s an opportunity in finding where best to make a difference. Our varied programme this week has, I think, once again come up with some interesting ideas in that regard.

On Tuesday, we held a virtual event on Transport Infrastructure for the World Cup 2030 in Morocco. Participants heard from Sofia Akhtar, Head of Trade Policy, DBT Morocco; Meriem Bennani, Country Head for Morocco, UKEF; and Badr Choufari, Partner at Boston Consulting Group and the Growth Gateway Team.

On Wednesday, our International Development Heads of Business group met to hear from Professor Eric Herring, Professor of World Politics at the University of Bristol. His thought-provoking talk focused on how academia and the private sector can work together in international development.

Yesterday, we hosted a very practically- oriented panel on Disaster Risk Reduction. Jenty Kirsch-Wood from the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction highlighted UNDRR’s work on the prevention of new disaster risks and the reduction of existing risks by promoting the strengthening of resilience through multi-hazard disaster risk management. Paul Saunders from the Caribbean Development Bank provided an overview of the bank’s Disaster Risk Management strategy and impact, and some of the regional initiatives. Sunayana Sen who leads the DARAJA Programme at Resurgence explored risk communication, and the creative communications tactics that DARAJA has used in East Africa. Finally, Dr Mirianna Budimir at Practical Action discussed how Early Warning Systems are integral to Disaster Risk Reduction, specifically looking at the gendered impacts of Climate Hazards on women and marginalised communities.

Next week, we return to the crucial theme of climate finance with a virtual session on Mobilising Private Climate Finance. We have already received some 120 registrations for this event, which shows both what a topical subject this is, but also the exciting opportunities for innovation which can come from cooperation between government and business as well as across the many professions and sectors involved.   Our panel will include James Naughton, Head of Development Finance & Investment, DAI; Phil Marker, Principal Consultant, OPM;  Virginie Fayolle, Technical Director, Climate Finance, Mott MacDonald; and Peter Batten, Head of Capability Building & Action, International Climate Finance, DESNZ.  You can still register for this and our other events next week.

Next Thursday, we will have the next in our series of “Intersections” events, this one on Climate Change & Gender Based Violence & Other Harmful Practices, which is already proving an extremely popular virtual event. We will hear from a panel including speakers from Social Development Direct (Tina Musuya, Head of GBV Portfolio); MannionDaniels (Alethea Osborn, Senior Technical Specialist on Gender and Social Development); and Dr Anik Gevers, Independent Consultant, VAWG Prevention and gender equality specialist. Women and girls can be disproportionately impacted by climate change and our panel will showcase how development actors are adapting their approach to address the nexus of climate change, gender-based violence and other harmful practises.

Also on Thursday, the latest in our FCDO Development Director series will focus on South Sudan. We will hear from Kobi Bentley on FCDO’s development strategy, programming, and pipeline of opportunities in South Sudan.

I hope you will find something of interest in the coming week’s programme. In the meantime, warm wishes for the weekend.

David Landsman 

Executive Chairman

British Expertise International

Recordings of recent past events:

Key events coming up include the following:

  • 13th March 2024 15:00 p.m. - 16:30 p.m. GMT: Mobilising Private Climate Finance - The urgency and scale of the climate crisis calls for an unprecedented transformation to the ways we produce, move and consume. One of the key challenges in this endeavor is the need to make climate finance accessible and to mobilise private climate finance in order to support a systemic transition to low carbon and climate resilient development pathways.
  • 14th March 2024 10:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. GMT: Intersection of Climate Change, Gender-Based Violence and other Harmful Practices - Women and girls can be disproportionately impacted by the climate crisis as it serves to intensify pre-existing inequalities. Our panel will showcase how they are adapting their approach in the nexus of climate change, gender-based violence and other harmful practices.
  • 14th March 2024 14:00 p.m. - 15:00 p.m. GMT: FCDO Development Director: South Sudan - Join us as we host Kobi Bentley, the Development Director in South Sudan for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), who will present FCDO’s development strategy, programming and pipeline of opportunities in South Sudan.
  • 20th March 2024 9:30 - 10:30 GMT: Skills and Training Working Group: DBT Briefing - Southeast Asain Skills and Trade Mission - Our March Skills & Training Working Group will provide an overview from the Skills and Professional Bodies Trade Mission, organised by the Department for Business and Trade (DBT) International Education Team, to Malaysia and Indonesia in January 2024. The mission showcased a wide range of opportunities that could provide export growth and partnership opportunities for UK suppliers in these dynamic markets.
  • 21st March 2024 16:00 p.m. - 19:00 p.m. GMT: Climate Change Working Group Networking Evening - Join us for an evening of thought-provoking conversation, potential new partnerships, and the chance to meet with members of our Climate Change Working Group. Our keynote speaker is Charles Reeve, who specialises in preparing and financing infrastructure to build climate resilience for the economically disadvantaged.
  • 9th April 2024 09:00 - 11:00 GMT: Developing Education & Social Infrastructure - Join us for a panel discussion on the role of Education in the context of Social Infrastructure. This event will offer an overview of the development of Education Infrastructure across sectors with speakers from Arup and Gleeds.
  • 24th April 2024 16:00 p.m. - 17:30 p.m. BST: ICAI Review: International Climate Finance - A new review from the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) assesses whether the UK is on track to meet its international climate finance commitments. Join Chief Commissioner Tamsyn Barton and other stakeholders to discuss the findings of the report and how UK aid can be used most effectively to meet this monumental global challenge.

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