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|20 February 2018||
ABOUT THE ERLN
The Economies of Regions Learning Network (ERLN) is aimed at bringing together economic development practitioners in all spheres of government in a spirit of enquiry and cooperation and to strengthen their agency as leaders in the regional economic development arena.
The Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) and the Economies of Regions Learning Network (ERLN), in partnership with the University of Johannesburg, will be hosting a conference with the theme of Economic Development for Employment: Sub-national Strategies. The conference will be held on 14 to 15 November in Gauteng, South Africa. The conference aims to contribute to evidence-based policy making and development planning around employment creation at the sub-national level.
Save the Date: ERLN Conference: Economic Development for Employment: Sub-national Strategies
In the welcome to the Economies of Regions Conference, Deputy Minister of Finance, Mcebisi Jonas, emphasized the importance of industrial clusters and industrial cluster formation as being especially critical to regional economic development initiatives. Stieneke Samuels is Chief Director: Regional Industrial Clusters at the Department of Trade and Industry. Stieneke is also an Advisory Group member of the ERLN and is very active in utilising the ERLN platform to engage about cluster development. ERLN Convenor, Kirsten Pearson, puts Stieneke Samuels in the spotlight to discover more about how the dti is working to support cluster development.
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.
The City of Cape Town recently presented to the Data Technical Working Group on Metropolitan Economic Development on the Industrial Survey it has undertaken. The City of Cape Town is amongst the founder members of the intergovernmental Data Technical Working Group that was established with the acknowledgement that local level data (i.e. at municipal level or lower) is difficult to obtain. The Data Technical Working Group enjoys high level support and is supported by the Economies of Regions Learning Network, which functions as its secretariat. Its members are undertaking an inter-governmental process to generate meaningful sub-metropolitan information about employment and economic activity for purposes of metropolitan and regional economic analysis.
NEWS FROM THE ERLN COMMUNITY
The Gauteng City-Region Observatory (GCRO) is a research centre set up in partnership between the University of Johannesburg (UJ), the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits), the Gauteng Provincial Government and organised local government. GCRO’s mission is to build the knowledge base that government, business, labour, civil society and citizens need to develop a competitive, sustainable and inclusive Gauteng City-Region. GCRO undertakes research itself and in partnership with others, collects data and uses it to benchmark the region locally and internationally, and provides policy support to government, working to the highest academic standards. GCRO works in diverse areas including regional economic development, sustainability, space & mobility, governance & intergovernmental relations, quality of life and social development, as well as data collection and visualisation with a special focus on indicator-based benchmarking.
Mesopartner Summer Academy 2016: Territorial Economic Development
The annual Summer Academy of Mesopartner has become an important capacity-building event for economic development practitioners around the world. The 2016 event will be the 12th Summer Academy and the fifth to be held in Berlin. It takes place on 4 - 8 July 2016.
HSRC Seminar: An innovation systems approach to socio-economic development for sustainability in South Africa
In the wake of the recent Millienium Development Goals (MDG’s), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) take over. In the context of achieving these latter goals, an exposé of innovation systems approaches to growth and sustainable development are expressed. Sustainability-oriented innovation systems are a ground-breaking and novel approach to dealing with the challenges of our time, in South Africa, and globally. This requires urgently the transformation of our knowledge systems towards a sustainable direction, and concurrently developing specialized approaches to learning between government, business and academia.
KNOWLEDGE RESOURCES FROM PAST EVENTS
Presented by UCT’s Graduate School of Development Policy and Practice (GSDPP) in collaboration with the Economies of Regions Learning Network (ERLN) and the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) in the National Treasury, the course will take place on 24—26 August 2015 at Erinvale Estate Hotel & Spa, Somerset West.
Dialogue on Priorities for Inclusive Growth
The Government Technical Advisory Centre and Economies of Regions Learning Network jointly hosted a Dialogue on Priorities for Inclusive Growth on 17 March 2016. Delegates received a presentation from the McKinsey Global Institute on a report entitled South Africa’s Big Five: Bold Priorities for Inclusive Growth. The report proposes that South Africa focus on five priority areas, namely: advanced manufacturing, infrastructure, natural gas, service exports and agriculture. This provided the stimulus for a panel discussion on priorities for inclusive growth for South Africa.
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