Coffee Break Podcast: On Informal Markets


"A day is very unpredictable for us, we are trying to have a blank slate to come up with a crafty way to better understand solutions, to better scale solutions or to see where we can improve our learnings as an organisation and network." 

Omar's work life is marked by unpredictability and uncertainty, as he is Team Lead and Head of Experimentation at the Accelerator Lab at UNDP in The Gambia. For the GDL Coffee Break Podcast, host and GDL member Khaldun Al Saadi, sat down with fellow member Omar Jagne to discuss his work in the context of informal markets. He talks about unconventional UNDP partners such as start-ups and scale-ups and elaborates on their challenges of digitally transforming informal markets in The Gambia. Omar sums up his own point of view briefly: "It has to be a co-creation and co-learning process to have any kind of meaningful intervention that would tackle business continuity for market traders." Omar also lets us in on his most treasued sources of inspiration.

You can find an article on "Experimentation into Informalities – Digitally Transforming Informal Markets in The Gambia" here. Further information on the work of the Accelerator Lab can be found on their blog.

New episodes of the podcast are realeased every three weeks. Host Khaldun seeks to get an inside look at the perspectives of young diplomats, experts and activists on the vast array of global challenges we face today by sitting down with them for a virtual cup of coffee.

Curious? Grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the conversation! Listen in on SpotifyApple Podcasts or by downloading the episode here.

Further Articles

Coffee Break Podcast: ElsaMarie D’Silva on fighting Gender-based and Sexual Violence
In this episode, host Khaldun Al Saadi speaks with ElsaMarie D’Silva about sexual and gender-based violence and her project Safecity.
Peacebuilding that Ignores the Environment is Not Complete
Climate and conflict are interrelated. GDL member Diego Osorio has been thinking about "Adaptive Peacebuilding." He writes about how to address climate-related security risks through repeated experimentation and learning, and how real-time data and analytics can help.
AI Governance: A Unique Challenge for the Global South
Gaurav Sharma not only writes about the benefits of artificial intelligence, but also highlights its risks and challenges and explains what is needed to use it in a target-oriented way.
Coffee Break Podcast: On Education
The fourth episode of the GDL Coffee Break Podcast is up! Host Khaldun Al Saadi talks with Dulguun Batmunkh about education policies and her Knight-Hennessy Scholarship at Stanford University.
A safe listening circle for victims of violence and abuse
GDL Member Elsa Marie D’Silva and her colleague Supreet K’Singh describe why it is important to train facilitators for SafeCircle, a programme that offers a safe space for women, survivors of violence and abuse.
Elizabeth Maloba on the Empowerment of Women in Africa
In an interview with the BMW Foundation, GDL member Elizabeth Maloba is discussing the empowerment of women and the importance of the Gender Alliance for rising awareness of gender equality.

Khaldun Al Saadi

Khaldun Al Saadi is of Yemeni and German descent. He lived in Yemen from 1993 to 1995, as a child during the Civil War. His memories from that time still motivate him to seek reconciliation through dialogue as a means of restoring peace. From 2012 to 2016 he studied Arabic language and culture at the University of Leipzig. He holds a scholarship from the Heinrich Böll Foundation and graduated from King’s College London with an MA in “Conflict Resolution in Divided Societies”.

Since 2013 he has been a member of the Junge Islam Konferenz (Young Islam Conference), the flagship project of Stiftung Mercator in immigration and integration. He currently works as a project coordinator for the Radicalisation Prevention Centre in the Division for Equality and Integration at the Saxon State Ministry of Social Affairs and Consumer Protection.


Read more about Khaldun in his blog article

Khaldun is also the host of the GDL Coffee Break podcast. Every three weeks, he guests a member and talks to them about their profession, inspirations and urgent global issues, to name just a few topics. The podcast is available on Spotify and Apple Podcasts. Summaries of the episodes are also posted on the blog

Omar Jagne

Kebba-Omar Jagne is currently working in the United Nations Development Program in Gambia as Accelerator Lab Lead and Head of Experimentation. He is the founder and CEO of the Making Our Visions and Aspirations Reality (MOVAAR) Group, an educational technology scale-up and a CIVICUS member. He also managed Gateways boutique consultancy.

Omar served in US government as the Economic/Commercial Specialist at the US Embassy in Banjul, the Gambia and during that time helped to set up the first private think tank in the Gambia, known as the Forum for the Exchange of Ideas for Development (FOREID). Omar served as the inaugural Next Einstein Forum Country Ambassador for Science and Technology for the Gambia (2016) and was previously a Young Fellow for the World Islamic Economic Forum (2015) and the Global Economic Symposium (2015).

Omar holds an MSc in Science, Technology and Innovation Studies from the University of Sussex, UK and a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Political Science from Hofstra University, USA. He aspires to create platforms that communities can use to uplift voices from within.

Omar also chatted with GDL Coffee Break podcast host Khaldun Al Saadi about informal markets. A summary and the links to the episode can be found here.

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