Welcome to the new look ERLN newsflash. After the festive season, I trust that you are rejuvenated and refreshed, ready for 2015. The ERLN team is looking forward to a productive year of creating opportunities to engage with Regional Economic Development themes that matter to you as leaders in the field.
We have launched our new website at www.erln.org.za, where you can find the latest news and knowledge about economic development, as well as more about upcoming and past ERLN events. If you have not already registered on the website, we encourage you to do so. This will allow you to view and register online for upcoming ERLN network events, to connect with other ERLN members and to easily contribute knowledge.
The Jobs Fund has opened a new funding round: Industry Change for Scaling Inclusive Job Creation Models. To significantly reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality in South Africa, innovative solutions for inclusive job creation which can be implemented at scale are required. With this call for proposals the Jobs Fund seeks to partner with intermediaries that will focus on high growth and high labour absorptive sectors. The Jobs Fund is also particularly interested in receiving proposals from organisations focused on improving market systems for job creation. Applications may be submitted through the following funding windows: Enterprise Development; Support for Work Seekers; Infrastructure; Institutional Capacity Building. The application process closes on Thursday, 16 March 2017 at 15:00. For more information on the new funding round please visit the Jobs Fund website: www.jobsfund.org.za
Q: Can you introduce us to the University of Johannesburg’s Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development?
A: The Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED) is a leading university research group established as a locus of knowledge and information on competition, regulation and economic development. CCRED is headed by Prof Simon Roberts. CCRED was established in 2011 at the University of Johannesburg, initially known as the Centre for Competition Economics (CCE). The Centre’s scope broadened to include not only competition economics, but also analysis of economic regulation and economic development across southern and East Africa. This led to the Centre changing its name in 2013 to the Centre for Competition, Regulation and Economic Development (CCRED).
In 2014, a small group of city officials who regularly attend Economies of Regions Learning Network learning events advocated for a learning event that focused specifically on metropolitan economic data. There was a strong contention amongst these officials that in order to make sound decisions about economic development at the local level that accurate economic data about key metropolitan and sub-metropolitan market, sectoral and employment trends is critical. However, there was also a concern that local level data (i.e. at municipal level or lower) is difficult to obtain. An initial two workshops were held on 24 August and 13 November 2014. Participants at the workshops raised the need for a structured inter-governmental collaboration regarding metropolitan and regional economic data and analysis. This collaboration was entitled the "Digging Deeper" collaboration. Stated simply, the main priorities of the collaborators are to improve sub-metropolitan data about firms and jobs. In November 2014, members of the Digging Deeper collaboration presented at the City Budget Forum at National Treasury in order to seek support to formalise an inter-governmental process. The City Budget Forum was supportive and recommended seeking support from the Minister of Finance.