Pearl Uzokwe
Strategic engagement of the private sector is critical to achieving most of the Sustainable Development Goals across the globe, Pearl Uzokwe, Director, Governance and Sustainability, Sahara Group, has said.
Uzokwe told Asharami TV, a Sahara Group thought leadership platform, that she would provide insight on how the private sector can become the engine room for driving the SDGs at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Week on  Private Finance for Sustainable Development in France.
She will join a dais of panelists to have an open and inclusive dialogue on accelerating progress towards more effective Private Sector Engagement through development co-operation.
Other panelists include Sahar Nasr, Minister of Investment and International Co-operation of Egypt; Uta Bollhof, Deputy Director General BMZ, Germany; and Vitalice Meja, Civil Society Partnership for Development Effectiveness.
The event is a specialized policy dialogue being promoted by the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation and will have business leaders, investors, senior policy makers from governments, civil society, trade unions, parliaments and international organisations in attendance.
Speaking ahead of the event, Uzokwe said: “We are beginning to see a paradigm shift in the way the private sector tackles societal issues. Businesses are not islands and as such cannot succeed in a failing world. It is no longer okay to operate solely for revenue generation. Societal issues are both business issues and opportunities. Sahara Group remains committed to partnering with the public sector, government and civil society towards the attainment of sustainable solutions.”
According to her, Sahara Group has pioneered several private sector led interventions with sustainable results across locations where the leading energy and infrastructure conglomerate operates.
“Sahara Group is passionate about promoting sustainable development and we believe co-operation is vital amongst stakeholders for success. Our ongoing Food Africa project which involves agencies of the United Nations, the Kaduna State Government and the celebrity chefs, the Roca Brothers, is a remarkable example of how co-operation works. I intend to share this experience and more at the event,” she added.
The Global Partnership, which also seeks to advance the effectiveness of development efforts by all concerned actors towards the achievement of the SDGs, has highlighted some of the in-roads made possible by sustained development cooperation by multiple stakeholders.
The agency reported this month that investor and business communities are partnering together with a frequency and commitment that is unprecedented albeit there is room for growth.
Stakeholders are looking forward to outcomes from the session and how they will address questions like how PSE, mobilised through development co-operation can help build prosperous societies by sharing risks, reaching those most in need and delivering effectively against agreed results; how public, private and civil society actors can build trust to support effective PSE at country level; and what roles the different actors in PSE can play to harness their contributions to scale up successful PSE projects.

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