MENA Regional Program on SME Development and Technology Transfer

May 10, 2017 - May 12, 2017
Saad Hamoumi, Harvard Consulting Morocco presenting on Small Business Promotion in Morocco

From May 10-12, 2017, CLDP held a regional program with participants from Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Morocco in Casablanca, Morocco to share best practices in promoting SME development.  The program included participants from the private sector, including consultants, incubators and accelerator programs, and government actors whose aim is to promote entrepreneurship.

Topics for the program included best practices in building innovation ecosystems, facilitating effective and efficient business registration procedures, promoting technology transfer at universities and research centers to create companies and jobs, and developing effective government assistance programs to small businesses. Legal frameworks that make business registration accessible, transparent, and efficient through the lens of the World Bank Doing Business indicators were also discussed by panelists and experts.

Through a regional approach with countries from the Gulf, North Africa and the Caucuses, the program benefited from participants sharing best practices and experiences in their own countries. U.S. experts from Stanford University, the Department of Commerce's Small Business Administration and Office of the General Counsel, and a private consulting practice shared U.S. best practices and various models for promoting small business creation and development, technology commercialization, and the developmen tof innovation ecosystems. This program was funded by the U.S. Department of State, including funding from its Middle East Partnership Initiative.

Upcoming Programs

February 21, 2018 - March 24, 2018

On February 21-22, 2018, CLDP held a workshop in cooperation with the World Trade Organization (WTO) Institute for Training and Technical Cooperation (ITTC) for officials from the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.  The workshop was held at the WTO Secretariat on the margins of the meetings of the Committee for Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures and the Committee on Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT).   At the workshop, the Afghan officials discussed with U.S. and WTO experts the procedural and substantive requirements of the WTO SPS and TBT Agreements, and methods for effective engagement in SPS and TBT Committees.  WTO experts also presented on the online tools made available to WTO members by the Secretariat to facilitate timely notifications. 

Following the workshops, the Afghan officials participated in the WTO SPS and TBT Committees, ensuring that Afghanistan has a more active role on issues critical to Afghanistan's trade sector, and provides answers to questions posed by SPS Committee members. 

March 10, 2018 - March 17, 2018

On March 10-15, CLDP hosted a high-level delegation from the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum of Afghanistan (MoMP) in Washington, DC. Her Excellency Nargis Nehan, Acting Minister of the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum, headed the Afghan delegation in the U.S.  CLDP facilitated meetings for the Afghan delegation with U.S. Government agencies and the private sector.  During the meetings, MoMP’s representatives provided a comprehensive update on the current state of the Afghan extractive sector, while reinforcing the commitment of the Afghan government to reforms required to transition the extractive sector to a competitive and efficient market.  The MoMP’s representatives also provided an overview of potential mining projects and sought the private sector’s input on how to make the Afghan extractive industry more attractive to foreign private investment, as well as explained the ministry’s commitment to capacity building. In response, CLDP formally launched a 15 months-long extractive training course, designed for key technical and legal employees within the ministry.  

CLDP in Action

February 27, 2018 - March 2, 2018

CLDP together with its institutional partner Extractive Resources Governance Program (ERGP) at the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, co-hosted a workshop of 13 officials from Pakistan on Establishing an Effective and Independent Regulator in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. 

Read More about Pakistan: Upstream Regulator Workshop