Least developed countries

ITC @ 5th United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5)
All times are Doha, Qatar times (CET +2)
Location info


Header color
Topic (for relations)
Country (for relations)
Flagship events (for relations)
Geographic priority (for relations)
Event type
Public event


Monday, 6 March
09:00 - 10:30
Meeting Room 104
LDC5 Youth Track Session: Fostering youth economic inclusiveness and entrepreneurial skills – It takes an ecosystem
It is estimated that globally one third of the world’s 1.8 billion young women and men are neither in employment, education or training. One billion additional youth will enter the job market during the next decade. The global economy will need to create an additional 600 million jobs or entrepreneurial opportunities over the next 10 years to keep pace with these projected demographic developments.

Young people lack access to relevant opportunities and support networks in relation to skills development, jobs, opportunities for entrepreneurship, markets, finance. We need to empower our youth through an enabling ecosystem covering policy, business support organisations, access to finance and linkages with private sector partners. An exciting speaker line-up ensures that all perspectives are represented.

• Ms. Pamela Coke Hamilton, Executive Director, International Trade Centre (ITC)
• Mr. Gunter Beger, Managing Director, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)
• Representative of the Ministry of Sport and Youth of the State of Qatar
• Mr. Nizar Yaiche, Leader, Global Digital Network, Government & Public Services, PricewaterhouseCoopers Partner
• Mr. Mayank Dhingra, Senior Education Business Leader, Southern Europe, Middle East and Africa (SEMA), Hewlett Packard
• Mr. Carl Manlan, Vice President, Inclusive Impact & Sustainability, Central & Eastern Europe Middle East and Africa (SEMA), Visa
• Ms. Dhuha Abdulmunem, Manager, Iraq Response Innovation Lab (IRIL) – Ye! Community Chapter Iraq
• Ms. Mara Zhanet Michelo, CEO and founder, Jacaranda Hub
Moderated by: Mr. David Cordobés, Head of Youth & Trade programme, ITC
14:00 - 17:00
Exhibition Hall 1
Thematic Roundtable 3: Structural transformation as a driver of prosperity in LDCs
17:15 - 18:45
Auditorium 3
Empowering Start-ups in African LDCs
Under the High Patronage of H.E. Mr. Mohamed Bazoum, President of Niger, ITC, the African Union Commission and UNIDO are hosting this timely discussion in partnership with the European Union, ECOWAS and BADEA.

It is expected that African start-ups funding will grow to $10bn by 2056 (World Economic Forum, 2022). In 2021, tech start-ups in Africa reached approximately $2.15bn in capital investment to drive their economic activities. Start-ups Acts were concluded in a number of African countries, such as in Senegal, Tunisia and recently in Nigeria. These are paving the way for policy instruments aimed at boosting key incentives for young people to start and fast track their businesses.

The focus of the side event is to advocate and sensitize African leaders, development partners, private sector, civil society, and governments at all levels to renew and strengthen their commitments to the development of a vibrant start-ups ecosystem that promotes innovation and digital transformation. The main objective is to enhance an enabling environment for African start-ups and young entrepreneurs to deploy digital technology to create jobs and drive future economic growth of African LDCs within the framework of Industry 4.0 and economic recovery post-COVID19.
Tuesday, 7 March
09:00 - 12:00
Exhibition Hall 2
Ministerial Meeting on South-South Cooperation: Renewed Partnerships for Actionable Solutions in Support of Implementation of the Doha Programme of Action
12:15 - 13:45
Room 104
Side Event: How to leverage E-commerce to support economic ambition of LDCs
Digital trade and ecommerce play an important role in reaching the goals set out in the “Doha Programme of Action”. Join us to look at the opportunities for LDCs to leverage e-commerce, and digital trade in general, for economic transformation. We consider how tools of digital promotion are transforming the prospects even for non-tech businesses and how strategic frameworks at country and regional level can serve as catalysts.

Beyond the immediate imperatives for businesses to weather the current turbulence in the macroeconomy, we consider the longer-term implications of trade shifting to e-commerce and try to understand how far and in what way this can support the sustainable development in LDCs.

The session will showcase experiences at the enterprise level and explore success stories on how to create the right environment to enable development benefits from e-commerce by governments and development partners. The panel of experts includes:
• Ms. Pamela Coke-Hamilton, Executive Director, ITC
• H.E. Seedy Keita, Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, The Gambia
• Mr. Torbjörn Fredriksson, Head, E-commerce and Digital Economy Branch Division on Technology and Logistics, UNCTAD
• Dr. Cosmas Zavazava, Director of the Telecommunication Development Bureau, ITU
• Ms. Nawshin Khair, Managing Director Aranya Crafts Ltd., Bangladesh
• Ms. Tadhim Uwizeye, Founder and CEO of Olado, Rwanda

Moderated by: Mr. James Howe, Head Digital, Markets and Connectivity, ITC

This session is organized in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
15:00 - 16:30
Auditorium 3
LDC5 Youth Track Session: Youth enabling digital development in LDCs
Digital technology, combined with skills, can help address the challenges faced by youth, including related to employment, and can become a huge catalyst of sustainable development. Digital innovations in areas such as education and finance, energy, agriculture, health, and mobility are already transforming how youth access and use a range of services. Through digital inclusion initiatives and the amplification of youth voices, digital technologies offer new opportunities to transform the lives of unconnected and marginalized youth.

Young people are leaders in digital transformation today. We must empower and acknowledge young voices in this space as we work towards engaging youth in the digital development dialogue to build a more connected global community. With initiatives like ITU’s Generation Connect and UNCDF’s Inclusive Digital Economies to Leave No One Behind, and ITC’s FastTrackTech, Youth and Trade and ecomConnect, this thematic session will explore the benefits of developing digital solutions to fully unlock youth’s potential.

Co-designed and led by youth, this session will explore pathways towards bridging the digital divide and fully seize youth potential towards the implementation of the Doha Programme of Action by addressing the following questions:
What are the major digital challenges facing young people in LDCs today?
What capacity building efforts and digital innovation ecosystems need to exist to address the digital skills gaps amongst young people today and in the future?
How can youth in LDCs be meaningfully included in international digital development dialogues and policies?

What are the solutions to fully bridge the digital divide and empower youth to become actors of change?

The session will showcase experiences at the enterprise level and explore success stories on how to create the right environment to enable development benefits from e-commerce by governments and development partners. The panel includes innovators from IBM, Thundafund Africa, Ennovate Hub Tanzania, as well as ITC and ITU.

This session is organized by ITC in partnership with the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF).
Wednesday, 8 March
17:15 - 18:45
Auditorium 2
Unlocking Financing for MSMEs in the new 10-Year LDC Programme of Action
Growth and climate adaptation of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) are held back due to challenges to access financing. Generally, less than 4% of these firms’ financing applications are successful. The main reasons are lack of collateral and accurate and complete documentation.

Financing is key to MSMEs’ ability to adapt to climate change, grow their businesses sustainably and contribute to graduation and wealth. This is particularly the case for companies involved in sectors of economies where inputs have to be purchased in advance of sales invoicing, such as food and agri-business.

ITC has developed an end-to-end access to financing approach for MSMEs that was tested successfully in Tanzania in 2022. It combines de-risking guarantees from development financing institutions (DFIs) and Tanzania’s PASS Trust with coaching in financial management, document assembly and loan performance to overcome the challenges. This has led to over 70% of applicants receiving loans within a short period and follow-on investment in some cases for ESG and climate adaptation purposes.

Join us for a look at this successful pilot project and wider take-aways for access to financing in LDCs.

• Mr. Ashish Shah, Director of Country Programmes, ITC
• H.E. Mr. Elias Mubanga, Minister of Small and Medium Enterprise Development of Zambia
• Dr. Agnes Kalibata, Executive Director, AGRA
• Mr. Joseph Midunga, Founder and CEO, Tanzania Association of Professional Business Development Services (TAPBDS)
• Mr. Robert Lawuo, Business Development Manager, Private Agricultural Sector Support Trust (PASS)

Moderated by: Mr. Ian Sayers, Senior Adviser, Access to financing & investment, ITC
External ID
Contextual tags

<p>The Fifth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries (LDC5) is a forum to discuss what it takes to unleash the full potential of LDCs and how the international community can help them take steady steps along the road to prosperity.</p><p>At LDC5, ITC will organize a series of sessions highlighting the role of trade and small businesses as a driver of growth in LDCs.</p>

Alliances for Action
First name
Last name
Castro Rodriguez
First name
Last name
Kasong Yav
First name
Last name


Partnerships as a catalyzer for collective action 


A4A does not work alone to achieve these outcomes. In seven projects for value chain development, A4A engages hundreds of stakeholders across 35 countries in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the Pacific. Together with our partners, we seek to build more sustainable and competitive conditions at every step across agricultural value chains. A4A’s team of specialists represents 35 nationalities with a diversity of backgrounds and expertise. This professional capacity enables A4A to maintain a strong presence in the field, with a focus on project implementation.

Through our unique, participatory approach, A4A cultivates the conditions for stakeholder partnerships to emerge, which collectively lead to ongoing, scalable improvement in the health of agricultural value chains, the sustainability of food systems, and thereby in the well-being of smallholder farmers and SMEs. In this way, A4A works beyond the scope of individual projects by facilitating ongoing learning and collaborative action among value chain actors to advance the achievement of more equitable global agri-value chains.

Thanks to digitalization, it has never been easier for individuals and organizations to connect and collaborate to tackle complex issues and create meaningful change. 

We advance efforts to develop global agribusiness value chains that equitably distribute benefits to all stakeholders
Do not show


Coffee Sustainability Initiatives Map

The Coffee Sustainability Initiatives Map is an interactive tool that provides more visibility on sustainability and support initiatives in coffee producing countries around the world. Users can discover what is being done, where, and by whom in the coffee sector. The Coffee Sustainability Initiatives Map is co-created and requested by members of the International Coffee Organization’s Coffee Public-Private Task Force and the International Trade Centre through the Coffee Guide Network, supported with co-funding from the European Union and ITC. The collective effort shows how collaboration can result in practical resources for collective action.



Sustainable Development Goals

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Putting the VALUE back in value chains

Alliances for Action (A4A) is an ITC initiative that aims to transform agricultural value chains and promote sustainable food production by honoring the value that smallholder farmers and SMEs contribute to agri-food value chains. A4A aims not only to improve stakeholders’ financial wellbeing, but also to promote equity, sustainability, and inclusion throughout these food systems.

An A4A development project typically begins by working with farmers, processors, and distributors from across a value chain to identify gaps in the healthy functioning of a food system. Then, working cooperatively, value chain stakeholders share market information, create opportunities to increase expertise, and cultivate mutually beneficial commercial relationships. Stakeholder groups and institutions from across a value chain are included in the consultation, implementation, and governance phases of every development project.

Ghana: Developing cocoa and associated crops through the Sankofa Project empowered by Alliances for Action
Caribbean: Development of value added products and intra-regional trade to enhance livelihoods from coconuts II
Senegal: Alliances for Value Addition in Cashew Nut (NTF V)
Ethiopia: Building Alliances for Action in Coffee from seed to cup (NTF V)
Ghana: Building Alliances for Action in Cocoa from bean to bar (NTF V)
ACP Business-friendly: Supporting value chains through inclusive policies, investment promotion and alliances
Eswatini: Promoting growth through competitive alliances I
Eswatini: Promoting growth through competitive alliances III
Eswatini: Promoting growth through competitive alliances II
The Caribbean: Strengthening sustainable value chains through productive and commercial Alliances
Zimbabwe: UK Trade Partnerships Programme
Lesotho: Empowerment of public and private stakeholders on the implementation of NES Roadmap
First name
Last name

Sustainable Development Goals

This project contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals, as defined by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

<p>Lesotho is a Least Developed Country with a relatively small and concentrated export basket. Some of the constraints affecting its private sector include: lack of adequate infrastructure and productive capacity, difficulties to navigate the complexity of foreign market requirements, difficulties to identify the opportunities offered by existing trade agreements, limited managerial capabilities, little technological innovation, and limited access to key inputs and market intelligence. All of these constraints impact the country&rsquo;s ability to compete in global markets and hinder the government&rsquo;s priorities to create jobs with a focus on youth and women as well as economic growth through enhanced trade competitiveness. The Government of Lesotho, through the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), has formulated its 2021-25 National Export Strategy (NES) Roadmap. The NES Roadmap acts as a blueprint for the Government, the private sector and development partners in their joint effort to support Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) and to expand the trade competitiveness of the country. The NES Roadmap provides a prioritized plan of action with specific activities to support exporting MSMEs at the national level in three strategic sectors: horticulture, textiles and apparel, as well as light industry. The implementation of these activities will help Lesotho to seize existing trade opportunities. The Government of Lesotho has requested ITC to lead in the design of project(s) to support the implementation of the NES Roadmap. The bankable project proposal to be developed should take into consideration the recommendations of Lesotho&rsquo;s National Trade Policy Framework and the strategic and operational objectives of the NES Roadmap both at the national and sector levels. Indeed, such objectives will pay singular attention to post-pandemic recovery of MSMEs that were affected by the COVID19 global health crisis.</p>

External ID