Strengthening the Voice of Business to Support Democratic Governance

January 30, 2018
The World Movement for Democracy, Center for International Private Enterprise, and U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Center jointly launched an initiative to enhance private sector, civil society, and government collaboration. The goal of this initiative is to strengthen democratic governance by building new avenues for economic participation and freedom that enhances existing market economies.

Expanding business opportunities depends on democratic institutions’ ability to create a stable environment for steady and long-term business growth.  In this regard, developing responsive public and economic policies is critical.  The private sector has been an important force in shaping such policies.  With its extensive reach in various communities, civil society can significantly contribute to developing policies. This joint initiative cultivates the mutual interest among business, civil society, and policy makers and promotes consultative collaborations to build a prosperous and free society.


Left photo: H.E. Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, President of Burkina Faso speaks at the Opening Reception. Right photo: (From left to right) Greg Lebedev (Chairman, Center for International Private Enterprises), Mahamadi Savadogo (President, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burkina Faso), H.E. Mahamadou Issoufou (President of the Republic of Niger), H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta (President of the Republic of Mali), and Mrs. Zainab Bangura (Chairperson, World Movement for Democracy and Former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation).

At the launch event held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso on January 16-17, 2018, nearly 400 members representing the three sectors from 10 different countries came together to identify areas of collaboration for strengthening democratic governance to address issues of ethical governance, security, and economic and political inclusion of marginalized populations. Marking the importance of this initiative, three heads of state were in attendance including Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou as well Ministers and parliamentarians. At the conclusion of the event, the Ouagadougou Declaration was issued to outline guiding principles for the collaborations among the three sectors.