Dear Members and Friends,
At the UN General Assembly this week, the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson set out his stall for the upcoming COP 26 Summit in November. Amongst other things, he stressed the importance for a truly global response, highlighted the approach being taken across the UK and the need for accelerated action. He commented:
‘We are approaching that critical turning point — in less than two months — when we must show that we are capable of learning, and maturing, and finally taking responsibility for the destruction we are inflicting, not just upon our planet but ourselves’
You can see a copy of the speech here
By co-incidence, on the same day our Climate Change Working Group and Sub-Groups met in a hybrid event to review the progress they are making and begin to plan for the launch of their reports in the early part of November. The progress to date has been very impressive, and we are grateful for the commitment all members are giving to this initiative. If you would like to participate actively in this Working Group, please contact Joe
This week, we were also delighted to welcome FCDO Chief Scientist, Professor Charlotte Watts who spoke on FCDO’s focus on Evidence-Based Decisions in development programmes. Charlotte flagged evidence gaps as one of the key issues affecting effective decision making. Recent developments in the internal structure of the FCDO aims to bring senior members with different capabilities together to enhance an intersectional approach to inform policy and strategic outlook.
This is part of a series of events with senior figures from FCDO, and coming up we also have a meeting with Rachel Turner, Director for International Finance, for a discussion on Climate Finance and Development on 7th October. On 14th October, we will hear from Bo Sundström, Head of the EU Development Programme, and Martin Heather, Policy Team Leader on the latest updates on the FCDO-EU Relationship in development and humanitarian engagement and related issues.
Looking forward to the next few weeks, you can enjoy the following:
On 28th September we will also be joined by outgoing Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith OBE who will reflect on her time in Africa and share her thoughts on the future prospects for UK-Africa relations.
On 29th September we will host the second event on Doing Business with the Caribbean Development Bank, focusing on their activities and available opportunities in the education and social sectors and also an overview of how to navigate the procurement processes.
On 30th September we look forward to a roundtable discussion with the Lord Mayor of London centred around how to combine the City’s clout with the UK’s strong offering for key international growth markets across the full infrastructure value chain.
Details of these and all our other events can be found here.
I wanted to draw your attention to an important event in early October. Our collective experience over the last two years has taught us many things; to me it has solidified and reinforced the critical importance of effective leadership. Leading teams and guiding our organisations through the challenges of the pandemic have clearly shown that whilst we cannot predict the challenges future leaders will face, we can help them by providing and sharing practical skills and personal experiences that will help them to navigate through the challenges and leverage the opportunities and become effective leaders in the future. On 5th October, we will be holding a brief evening event to kick off the programme for our 2022 Future Leadership Training, The Future Group, designed to appeal to candidates who are identified as most likely to become Board/C-Suite leaders in the next 5–10 years. This course is available to all BEI members and networks, and the event will give you a chance to hear from previous alumni and their sponsors about the value of the course and hear about the plans for next year’s cohort. In terms of a scene setter, one sponsor commented recently:
‘This is a real-world course with tangible benefits to the attendees and the organisation they represent. It is a wonderful blend of human skills, refining the art of operating in social diversity and influencing social settings with genuine suite of professional ‘tools’ to learn and use in the business space. It is definitely a course for individuals with people to manage as opposed to paper’
The event will provide a useful introduction to the course for potential sponsors and participants alike. To find out more details, please contact the events team for details.
Finally, a number of members have asked questions about any updates on the current status of budgets and programme spend within FCDO. From the conversations I have been participating in, I would summarise the situation as follows:
- The Spending Review(SR) is scheduled to be published on 27 October, to be followed by preparing and finalisation of business/country plans.
- After this we would expect greater clarity on spend by geography aligned to the thematic areas outlined by the FCDO.
- In terms of pipeline, there has been some activity coming through the FCDO portal, but a comprehensive pipeline can be expected once the SR and business plans are approved.
- It goes without saying that we will continue to engage with the FCDO for further clarity and would welcome any insights and specific experience from individual members.
I hope you have a great weekend, as for me I will be running the Beckenham Half Marathon on Sunday and raising funds for Action Against Cancer — wish me luck.
With Best Wishes
Chief Executive Officer
British Expertise International
Join our Working Groups — as part of our member focus, the working groups offer opportunities for peer-to-peer engagement, learning & sharing, profiling expertise & capabilities and highlighting thought leadership. Groups include Climate Change, Education, infrastructure, D&I, and we also support a Safeguarding Leads Network. For details contact Joe McLynn
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Take advantage of the new Job Board on our website to post your organisation’s vacancies, currently this facility is available for free.
Currently most of our events are hosted virtually and we are starting to explore face to face and hybrid event options as the government eases socialising restrictions. For any event registration support please contact the events team. Click on titles to access full event details. The full calendar of events can be viewed here and recently added event dates are highlighted with an asterisk*.
28th September — Roundtable with HMTC Emma Wade-Smith
28th September — Diversity and Inclusion Working Group
29th September — Doing Business with the CDB — Education and Social Sector
30th September — Roundtable with Lord Mayor of London
5th October — Roundtable with HMTC Simon Penney
7th October — Investing in Education — A CDC Group View
7th October — Climate Finance & Development
12th October — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Mark Garnier MP
14th October* — Updates on the FCDO-EU Relationship
28th October — Roundtable with Trade Envoy Darren Henry MP
25th November* — **NEW DATE** Lunch with Andrew Mitchell CMG
25th November — Doing Business with USAID
External News & Events
28th — 30th September — The African Development Bank (AfDB) is hosting the fourth annual ‘Africa Resilience Forum’, this year on the topic ‘Covid-19 and Beyond: Working Together for a Resilient Recovery’.
1st October — Join the UK at Expo 2020 Dubai for the UK National Day. Expo 2020 Dubai presents the UK to the world in one place, and creates the opportunity to drive future partnerships.
3rd October — Join DIT for an event on the future of the petrochemical industry, looking at UK Renewable Energy Solutions. With a reduction in oil prices due to decreased demand caused by the pandemic and a global call to address climate change, the time is right to lay the foundation for sustainable clean energy growth.
Africa Business Perceptions Survey — The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) has commissioned GovRisk, in partnership with Africa House, to survey African businesses and entrepreneurs from Egypt, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa about their views and experiences when doing business in or with the UK and other international partners. Running until the end of September 2021, businesses can share their views via an online survey, HERE.
19th October GTR UK plans to return as a physical event in 2021, offering unrivalled insights into the latest exciting developments impacting on the world of UK trade and exports, and taking place in London on October 19. Details available here.
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