Engaging the Private Sector in Africa’s Peaceful Development
"Cross Sector Debate on Africa at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in May 2014 proceeded on the premise that business shares with government a strong longer-term interest in ensuring that growth is more inclusive, stable and sustainable. From one perspective, this premise is wholly unremarkable, given the private sector’s stake in peace and prosperity. Nevertheless, and unlike civil society, business has typically not been treated as an explicit stakeholder in development, although recognition of its shared interest in development holds considerable potential for transforming Africa’s development path. One policy challenge is to identify general and specific shared risks and opportunities through local, national and regional dialogue and cooperation on development-related obstacles and goals. However, business and government have different incentives, constituencies, claims to authority and forms of responsibility. Therefore a parallel challenge is to develop clearer parameters for collaboration, so that policy supports private enterprise while still advancing the public interest. This paper outlines what is at stake in Africa’s economic rise before discussing emerging trends towards more explicit business engagement in the development agenda."