The World Movement for Democracy, the Center for International Private Enterprise and the United States Chamber of Commerce, Africa Business Center (ABC), in partnership with the Burkina Faso Government, have jointly launched an initiative aimed at engaging the private sector in democratic governance throughout Africa by initiating a dialogue between businesses, civil society and policymakers.
The partnership was announced as Burkina Faso hosted the first Pan-African meeting designed to strengthen democratic governance and business climate in Africa held on January 16th and January 17th, 2018 under the theme ‘Governance, Democracy and Business’.
Burkina Faso’s President, Roch Marc Christian Kaboré said the drive is aimed at creating a dynamic interaction between public authorities, the private sector, civil society and social partners.
Speaking at the event’s inaugural session, he noted that though these sectors are different, they are complementary players, and can work together in order to establish good governance as the basis of sustainable economic and social development.
“We believe that a clear and harmonious synergy between these stakeholders will contribute to increasing the opportunities for citizen participation in the management of the public space, and expand the ranges of economic freedom,” the Burkinabe Head of State said.
The event invited political and business leaders as well as civil society representatives to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso’s capital city for two days to discuss critical issues.
This meeting has called on businesses to contribute to good economic governance in their respective countries by helping to strengthen democratic institutions and encourages consultative collaboration to develop business opportunities in Africa. It also proposed the creation of new avenues of participation and economic freedoms, in order to improve existing market economies and thus shape sustainable democratic development for a prosperous and free society.
The event was attended Presidents of Mali and Niger, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and Mahamadou Issoufou. Among the speakers were Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Commerce, Handicrafts and SME Promotion for the Ivory Coast; Rt. Hon. Prof. Aaron Mike Oquaye, Chairman of Ghana’s Parliament; Dr Isaias Barreto Olimpio Da Rosa, Commissioner of Telecommunication and Information Technology at the ECOWAS Commission; and Andrew Young, US Ambassador to Burkina Faso.
Burkina Faso was selected as host country for its progress in good economic governance and the advancement of the democratic process. Experts have observed positive trends in economic freedom and considerable achievements in developing a regulatory framework for public-private partnerships as well as in the reforms related to the construction, transport and energy sectors.
The Ouagadougou Meeting hopes to present successful partnerships between businesses, governments and civil society regarding effective public and economic policies in Africa.
It aims to discuss the importance of the democratic institutions’ capabilities to create an enabling environment for businesses to achieve stable and long-term growth.
The event also plans to establish a lasting commitment among the business community, governments and civil society in working together for progressive social and economic development.