Knowledge and empowerment are in the spotlight during the annual Knowledge Week of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA). There are three key areas of focus this year, namely equality, empowerment and capacity building.
The Knowledge Week is designed to advance the objectives of the Banks knowledge management strategy.
It brings numerous parties together with the aim of rejuvenating the spirit and sharpening the skills of development activists, practitioners and philosophers.
"Experts from DBSA as well as those from outside can get together to interact and debate on topical development issues that have an impact on the aspirations of South Africa and the region,' said Dr Snowy Khoza, Executive Manager, of the Research and Information Division of the DBSA.
Dr Khoza said the Knowledge Week represents a platform where knowledge creation, its sharing and management, can take a physical form.
Dr Khoza said Knowledge Week provides an invaluable opportunity for DBSA to learn from its partners and clients and to share its development knowledge accumulated over time.
"By sharing and transferring knowledge, we can better serve all our stakeholders.'
Discussions at the Knowledge Week will centre around the developmental consequences of inequality with a focus on the persistence of inequality in education, access to financial services and natural resources, land ownership and the position in certain sectors such as mining and tourism.
Regarding empowerment, the Knowledge Week platform will consider some of the strategies used to ensure Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) objectives are realised.
These tools include legislation, incentive programmes, the promotion of gender equality and small business support initiatives. Financing strategies for empowerment will be debated with input from private sector lenders such as ABSA, Standard and Nedbank.
The final theme, capacity building, encompasses both human and institutional development.
South Africa is ill-equipped with the skills needed to ensure sustainable economic, social and employment growth. In this regard, initiatives such as JIPSA (Joint Initiative for Priority Skills Acquisition) will be discussed at the forum.