Private Sector Development

MCI’s private sector development-related activities focused on helping the Millennium Cities – predominantly “secondary” cities – become sustainable by working with them to stimulate enterprise development to create jobs and foster economic growth, especially by increasing domestic and foreign investment in productive activities, with a view toward eradicating extreme poverty.

MCI’s strategy to foster private sector investment rested on four main pillars:

  • Identifying commercially viable opportunities for productive private sector investment in the Millennium Cities: This included identifying sectors and projects in which the cities (where possible, together with the Millennium Villages) have comparative advantage in local, regional or international markets, as well as analyzing the respective legal and regulatory frameworks and business operating conditions for investment at both the national and local levels.
  • Assisting the cities with developing and implementing strategies to target and win new and productive private sector investment: MCI worked with key local decision-makers and other key actors to establish priority sectors and projects for investment promotion. Based on these priorities, MCI assisted the cities in developing and implementing strategies and investment promotion activities aimed at bringing in new private sector investment.
  • Strengthening the cities’ capacity to identify investment opportunities: MCI conducted workshops to train local staff in conducting SWOT analyses, understanding value chains, researching market opportunities and targeting potential investors. We also emphasized the importance of public-private dialogue (PPD) that could help identify issues to improve business operating conditions and competitiveness, including the alleviation of constraints so as to promote investment that maximized benefits to the host community.
  • Creating awareness of investment opportunities through dissemination of relevant materials to potential investors: MCI accomplished this, in partnership with the cities, through a variety of means to reach into the global marketplace, such as investor missions and roundtables (special Millennium Cities Days in strategic locations), Millennium Cities Investors’ Guides and city-specific websites dedicated to reaching out to potential investors.

The Millennium Cities were chosen because they serve as hubs for the neighboring rural areas, among them, in most cases, the Millennium Villages; as such, MCI paid special attention to farm-to-market linkages, to add value to the increasingly diversified agricultural production of smallholder farmers and to help them move into regional and international markets.

MCI collaborated in its private sector development efforts with numerous partners which generously provided pro bono services, including the global accounting firm KPMG, the Government of Finland, international law firms Carter Ledyard Milburn LLP, Cravath Swaine & Moore and DLA Piper, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), Millennium Promise, the New York-based non-profit operating the Millennium Villages Project, and the Columbia University Business School and School of International and Public Affairs.

Implementation of project activities took place through the efforts of staff located in the Millennium Cities and New York, as well as in the MDG Centre in Dakar, Senegal, and the Columbia Global Center in Nairobi, Kenya. MCI established Memoranda of Understanding with a number of the cities and national governments, as well as with local and international partners, in order to implement investment promotion initiatives in the Millennium Cities.