Briefing Paper

An Agenda for Civil Society: A Business Critique? Shaping South Africa’s Region Building Role

The Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR), Cape Town, South Africa, hosted a one-day policy advisory
group seminar at the Double Tree By Hilton Cape Town Hotel, on 20 October 2017, on the theme “An
Agenda for Civil Society: A Business Critique? Shaping South Africa’s Region-Building Role.” The main aim of the meeting was to assess the challenges and opportunities for business and civil society in the agro-processing sector, in particular leather and leather products, in South Africa and the wider Southern and Eastern African regions, within the framework of South Africa’s region-building role. The seminar provided a platform for knowledge sharing, constructive dialogue, and critical reflection among 30 diverse representatives of civil society and business stakeholders in the agro-processing sector; and key national and regional business actors, as well as emerging entrepreneurs, in the leather and leather products industries. The meeting also involved participation from senior office-bearers in South Africa’s Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (DAFF) and Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); the New Partnership for Africa’s Development’s (NEPAD) Southern Africa Business Forum; and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa–Leather and Leather Products Institute (COMESA–LLPI). This policy brief is based on discussions at the meeting as well as on the seminar concept note.