Together with Lluis Riera of the European Commission, Dr. Hansjörg Neun, Director of CTA, welcomed participants to the 6th Brussels Development Briefing. His introductory remarks set the scene for the discussions.

Brussels Briefing - July 2008Recalling the importance of the Brussels Briefings in fostering cross-sectoral dialogue and debate on agriculture and rural development in ACP countries, Dr. Neun presented the subject of the session and its relevance, in particular when we take in consideration the decline of aid in the agriculture against the importance of agriculture and development. In this context, the possibility of new ODA funds coming from new donors is an interesting option to explore. New donors can contribute to rural development, although it is critical to avoid mistakes of the past and look at how ACP countries can take advantage of the experience and growth of ‘new players’ such as India, China or Brazil.

Brussels Briefing - July 2008From his side, Mr. Riera, of DG Development, described the subject of this briefing as “very timely”: so far previous Brussels Briefings have been discussing the ‘what’ of development cooperation; now it is very relevant to take a closer look at ‘who’ is providing development assistance and ‘how’ this is being done. Mr. Riera welcomed the increasing interest and role of ’emerging’ donors and the private sector in rural development: “there is room for everybody and especially the ’emerging South’ can share some important lessons with ACP countries.” Besides, new actors bring a “fresh air” in the field that could benefit the development sector as a whole. However, engaging these new players also brings a renewed need for better understanding and coordination among the different actors.

On top of that, Mr. Riera also underlined that the administrative capacities in developing countries need to be reinforced so local institutions are able to fully understand and manage the increasing complexity of the aid architecture.

Mr. Riera concluded saying that, now more than ever, adherence to the Paris declaration is crucial, and it does not affect public donors only, but all donors. It is therefore essential that the whole donor community organises itself and makes sure that aid coming from private sector and new donors is embedded in country-led coordinated strategies.

See more from the 2 July Briefing

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