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Business in a failed state

Michael Jarvis's picture

Not another reference to recession-hit corporate behemoths, but more on how to jump start even small businesses in the toughest environments. Somalia and Zimbabwe top the list in the latest Failed States Index from the Fund for Peace and Foreign Policy magazine. The problems facing those attempting to do business there are well documented. However, some of the other countries near the top have large scale private sector operations, or at least potential. What is the appropriate role of business in such states? Can the private sector do more to promote peace and stability?

These questions and more will be debated at an event in London today as part of an excellent series organized by ODI, DfID and Business Action for Africa. It is webcast live (12.30pm EST). For those interested in learning more, the World Bank Institute and George Washington University recently hosted a global eConference on "Peace Through Commerce". The related video and discussion threads are available to all.


I was at the event in London - the speakers were excellent and the discussion was fascinating. Video and audio from the event will shortly be available here: - your readers will also find plenty of material from other events in the series - "Harnessing the Power of Business for Development Impact" - from ODI, DFID and Business Action for Africa.

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