PARTNERSHIPS

EDP delivers annual report

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The Western Cape Economic Development Partnership (EDP) marked its first eighteen months with the delivery of an annual report and its first annual general meeting in Cape Town. 

The EDP focuses on working with partners to co-create the Western Cape’s economic agenda, and on translating this vision into action.  Crucially, the EDP demonstrates how the practice of partnership helps drive economic development and solve complex problems in the economic system.

In her address at the AGM, Barbara Hogan, Chair of the EDP board, said that long term goals were preferable to scorched earth policies but that both long and short term goals could best be serviced in the partnership model. Hogan said that the importance of sharing the enabling methodology of partnership was a key contribution the EDP could continue to make.

Andrew Boraine, CEO of the EDP, said that the AGM demonstrated the strong partnerships the EDP has forged, and continues to forge, with economic stakeholders in the Western Cape and nationally, and with the foremost global thinkers in regional economic development.  “We are calling on organisations, businesses and individuals to work with us towards a more inclusive regional economy. We have a number of projects unfolding through which different sectors can align their efforts with our own. Partnership is essential.” In particular, Boraine pointed to the FARE process (Future of Agriculture and Rural Economies), the One Cape data project, the building of regional innovation systems, telling the business story and The Partnership Exchange; the EDP’s World Design Capital 2014 project.

In keeping with the mandate of the EDP to help develop the economic agenda for the Western Cape, the speakers at the AGM provided a range of viewpoints in addressing the obstacles to sustained, inclusive economic growth.

Calling them, “coalitions of the willing;” Michael Spicer, Vice-President of Business Leadership South Africa, was an advocate of the approach of using bottom-up forums for problem-solving and action-based progress.

Goolam Ballim, Chief Economist from Standard Bank pointed out that you cannot consume your way out of poverty, but rather stressed the need for production and a global approach.

Adrian Sayers and Kate Philip, specialists in labour, inequality and economic inclusion, provided additional viewpoints, with Philips calling for a contextual approach, citing South Africa’s structural economic inequality as the pivotal reason that new entrants were not able to enter the economic system.

Sayers lauded the EDP’s efforts in the creation of the FARE process as a critical response to the need for dialogue. Launched earlier in 2013, the FARE process recently delivered a report (www.wcedp.co.za/news/the-fare-report) based on the findings of a panel that consulted with a broad range of stakeholders in the agricultural economy to uncover the issues behind the ongoing conflict in this sector. The findings of the report point to a need to move from blame appropriation to constructive, broad-based engagement and solution development.

Beyond its membership, the EDP  has produced its own set of partners and stakeholders for each of its projects and is now engaging with over 500 organisations, departments, research groups, social movements, industry associations and firms, that operate within the economic eco-system.

Focused as it is on translating vision into action, the EDP has demonstrated how partnership can play a crucial role in addressing complex problems through its involvement in the stimulation of a regional innovation system, building a more compelling regional business narrative and in coordinating economic intelligence – amongst other initiatives.

Another of the EDP’s headline programmes for 2014 is an official World Design Capital 2014 project, The Partnership Exchange.  This is a wide-reaching, practical partnering methodology and toolkit that any stakeholder will be able to download and use free of charge. The Partnership Exchange programme also includes a programme of events for 2014, including three MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) and a week-long global event in October, at which local and global experts will share their knowledge of, and conduct training on partnership practices.


 

 

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