Democracy that Delivers #74: Mauro DaCunha on the Democratization of Capital in Brazil

From left: podcast guest Mauro DaCunha, guest host John Zemko, and host Ken Jaques

Mauro DaCunha, the chief executive officer of Brazil’s AMEC (Capital Market Investors Association), discusses the importance of democratization of capital in Brazil.

DaCunha credits CIPE’s partnership with Brazil with increasing public awareness of capital markets and its correlation with economic growth. The development of capital markets in Brazil would positively influence the country’s economy by creating job growth, opportunities for investment and a culture of equity investment.

DaCunha also talks about how corruption and distrust of businesses are hindering the development of capital markets while providing insight on what needs to take place to counteract corruption.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

How Good Governance Got a Bad Name – and Why Governance Still Matters

Local leaders in the city of Talisay in the Philippines used CIPE partner the Institute of Solidarity in Asia’s performance governance system (PGS) to harness the city’s tourism-, agriculture-, and location-based strengths to reshape development and ensure sustainability through community involvement.

At CIPE, we’re accustomed to examining problems of democratic and economic development through a governance lens. We wonder how entrepreneurs can possibly succeed when the policy and regulatory environment is stacked against them. We wonder how good policy and regulation can be made without input and feedback from affected constituencies. We wonder what the point of policy is if government cannot be counted on to implement it. To address these problems of the enabling environment and government performance, we look for systemic change.

Not everyone thinks this way and many are frustrated by the demands and promises of good governance recommendations. They want to see immediate, tangible results from development. They see places where Western-style reforms have not delivered and other places that have done well economically despite a lack of rule of law or freedom. They see obstacles to fixing governance and wonder if it’s worth the effort.

Read More…

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #73: Majdi Hassen on Economic Reform Initiatives in Tunisia

Podcast guest Majdi Hassen and guest host Anna Kompanek

On this week’s Democracy the Delivers podcast, Institut arabe des chefs d’entreprises (IACE) Executive Director Majdi Hassen talks with CIPE’s Anna Kompanek about the economic reform initiatives his organization is undertaking in Tunisia. IACE is an independent, non-profit think tank based in Tunis. Since Tunisia’s revolution, Hassen has overseen IACE’s growth into a “think-and-do” tank that plays a vital role in convening diverse political and civic actors to discuss urgent economic problems.

Hassen has developed a series of IACE programs designed to bring leadership skills and civic awareness to young entrepreneurs, policymakers, and stakeholders in Tunisia. He has been instrumental in organizing IACE’s Enterprise Days, Tunisia’s biggest economic forum, which gathers over 1,000 national and international policymakers, business leaders, and experts to discuss critical private sector issues.

Kompanek and Hassen discuss a public-private dialogue effort – the National Business Agenda – that has brought together voices in the business community to provide the government with constructive recommendations for economic reform. They also discuss a hotline that has been set up in Tunisia to help local businesses deal with red tape and bureaucratic hurdles.

Learn more about IACE’s work: http://www.iace.tn/

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #72: Randa Al-Zoghbi on the launch of finance app Tamweely

Podcast guest Randa Al-Zoghbi

In this episode of Democracy that Delivers, podcast guest Randa Al-Zoghbi, CIPE’s Program Director in Egypt, discussed the release of their new app, Tamweely, in partnership with the World Bank.

The app is designed to connect financiers to small businesses and entrepreneurs in Egypt seeking start-up funding, as well as to provide business education tools and information about the institutional and legal environment for entrepreneurs and startups. Al-Zoghbi also discusses the economic situation in Egypt and the many challenges facing the business community there, and where she sees the app going in the future.

To find out more about Tamweely, visit the app store, android store, or go to their website: tamweely.org.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes.

President Reagan’s Call for a Campaign for Democracy Still Applies Today

By Andrew Wilson, Managing Director, Center for International Private Enterprise

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

When President Reagan delivered his Westminster address to Members of the British Parliament 35 years ago today, he predicted the downfall of the Soviet Union and called for a campaign to support democracy around the globe. What Reagan could not have predicted when he made that famous speech was that his campaign to support democracy would be as needed in 2017 as it was in 1982.

The violent extremism, conflict between states, unequal economic opportunity, and migration crises afflicting the world today are causing some to question the continued viability of the liberal-democratic values that Reagan championed. The belief that democracy, economic freedom and rule of law provide the “not so-secret sauce” for sustainable human progress is being openly questioned in capitals around the world.

In a results-based world we should be ready to scrutinize liberal-democracy’s track record.

To be certain, one outcome of liberal democracy – globalization- has done an impressive job of alleviating human suffering in the last quarter century.  Our global health indicators, poverty reduction goals, and literacy rates all figure in the plus column.  Societies are more resilient when disaster strikes, and the emergence of global standards on labor, environment, and anti-corruption are all leading to a more ethical and sustainable development pattern driven by the private sector.

However, while strides have been made to ensure a basic level of human existence, many societies still fail to provide their people with a path to a better life. In many countries citizens live in a world of governance failures and inequalities perpetuated by vested interests, corrupt elites, and authoritarians who understand that broad-based opportunity threatens their status-quo.  Indeed, if we look at where we see the greatest threats to global stability we see the hand of corrupt authoritarians, be that in the Middle-East, Venezuela, or Russian aggression in Ukraine.

It’s notable that those regimes most likely to cause instability are those which are quickest to point towards liberal democracy as the cause of the world’s problems. Our cold war of times past, in which liberal democracy and communism fought for supremacy, has been replaced by a new war in which our values are now questioned by those whose only ideology is that of authoritarianism and kleptocracy.

Looking back on the experience of the last 35 years, many of the world’s problems don’t stem from the failure of liberal democracy, rather a failure to more actively pursue its consolidation, and ensure that the economic and social benefits of democracy penetrated throughout societies.  As the causes of disorder are man-made, so are the solutions.  Support for economic development overseas must continue its emphasis on getting governance right, providing opportunity for all to participate in an economic life, and encouraging open societies to reinforce values and institutions that include respect for property as a human right, free media, and democratic space.

When governments get these things right, all citizens benefit. The proof of this lays in what we can take from the current migration crisis in the Mediterranean.  Migrants making the perilous boat journey to Italy’s southern shores are not coming from Tunisia where a democratically oriented government seeks to build democratic consensus on economic growth, but from its neighbors where poor governance and lack of opportunity drive desperate people to do desperate things. Tunisia shows us that the goals of the Arab spring, when consolidated in democratic values can bring relative stability. Tunisia’s goal now is to wring greater economic opportunity from the governance and democratic strides made by a revolution whose roots lay in economic discontent.

Globalization must also come to represent opportunity for all – technology, such as EBay and other online trading platforms, is breaking down international barriers to trade for micro and small entrepreneurs, and the WTO’s Trade Facilitation Agreement, if enforced, will smash non-tariff barriers that keep the little guys from trading across borders.

A quarter century of democracy support has shown that the most effective path forward is not to export nation building, or embrace foreign models, but rather to support and encourage the development of local voices for reform, and domestic expertise that can guide societies on their own path to good governance.  In many countries these brave voices are now at risk, as years of neglect have led to their increasing isolation and in many cases repression.  These are the world’s authentic voices of moderation, they alone are in a place to counter local extremism, advocate for opportunity, and chart paths for good governance.

While not always perfect, liberal democracy offers the most sustainable and equitable path to confronting the challenges facing the world, and it’s the best way we know to create long lasting jobs. An employed and prosperous people rarely resort to violent extremism, conflict, or emigration. For our government to reach its policy goals, it would be well served to look to the wisdom of Ronald Reagan who understood that markets and democracy were the best responses to the challenge of his time, and are timeless in their relevance today.

Democracy that Delivers Podcast #71: Joshua Muwanguzi and Derrick Magoola Discuss How Entrepreneurship Changes Lives

Students from Ndejje University in Uganda participating in an Entrepreneurship Club training in 2015

On a recent trip to Uganda, Henry LaGue, CIPE Program Officer for Africa, and Ryan Musser, CIPE Assistant Program Officer for Africa, sat down with two CIPE-supported entrepreneurship club graduates to discuss how the skills they learned through the club has helped them become successful. The conversation covers how the guests took what they learned in the club to start their own businesses and tackle the challenges they have faced along the way.

In a discussion led by interviewer LaGue, Muwanguzi talks about how his work as a youth advocate helps Ugandan youth to develop the skills to be successful in life and business. Magoola describes how he established his real estate marketing agency. They also discuss the high number of informal businesses in Uganda and the role of entrepreneurship training in helping aspiring entrepreneurs learn how to establish sustainable businesses in the formal economy.

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes

Democracy that Delivers #70: Role of Business in Fragile States

From left: moderator Scott Stearns with panelists Arshad Sayed, Danielle Walker, Lars Benson, and Ben Musuku

Fragile States continue to garner international attention, and the need to overcome this problem cannot be ignored. They put pressure on the global community by creating devastating poverty and restricted access to basic services for citizens. Fragile States also produce terrorism, piracy, human trafficking, and other dark network activity that puts the well-being of the global community in danger at much higher rates than secure states. One key way to address these problems is through the influence and conduct of the business community.

This event began with a presentation on One Earth Future’s new report Firm Behavior in Fragile States: The Cases of Somaliland, South Sudan, and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, and the panelists discussed how the lessons learned from the report can be used in other regions and countries. This week’s podcast is the recording of that discussion. Video of the event is available here.

Panelists:

  • Lars Benson, Regional Director for Africa, Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Arshad Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Global Connect
  • Benjamin Musuku, Task Lead for the World Bank’s Financial/Private Sector Operation in Somalia/Somaliland
  • Danielle Walker, Senior Director, U.S.-Africa Business Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Scott Stearns, State Department Correspondent, Voice of America (discussion moderator)

Want to hear more? Listen to previous podcasts at CIPE.org/podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes or on your Android device.

Like this podcast? Please review us on iTunes