Private-Public Dialogue in West Africa: Moving Beyond the Financial Crisis Toward Democratic Development

The global financial crisis in West Africa, despite being less severe or immediate than in the U.S. or Europe, has affected local economies, governments, and citizens alike. In this Feature Service article, Dr. Charles Mensa, founder and chairman of The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) in Ghana, talks about that impact and how to recover from the crisis. West African governments and the private sector must work together. The essence of such public-private partnerships is to figure out solutions to common problems through building strong organizational relationships, not just personal contacts. By cooperating in that way, businesses and governments can become partners in building a brighter economic and democratic future.

Article at a Glance

  • Although the global financial crisis has not been as severe in West Africa as in the United States or Europe, it does have an effect on remittances, manufacturing, and financing for business.
  • The crisis has not undermined the basic confidence of West Africans in democracy and market economy but it has highlighted the need for stronger governments.
  • Stronger government does not equal strongman rule or too much control over the economy; it means strong institutions that can make democracy deliver regardless of who is in power.