Business Community Strengthens Democracy in Mauritania
Nouakchott, Mauritania – A fragile political system in Mauritania since its transition to democracy in 2007 has contributed to the low capacity of business associations within the country to advocate for reform on behalf of their members. Business associations face structural challenges accentuated by poor internal governance and a lack of human resources. In order to address these issues and encourage Mauritania’s continued path toward democracy, CIPE has partnered with Mauritanian business groups for the first time to empower private sector organizations in Mauritania and provide them with the knowledge base required to mobilize and play an active role in demanding democratic reforms.
From December 12-15, 2010, CIPE held a training program for 19 people representing 15 Mauritanian business associations such as the National Employers Association, the Association of Women Entrepreneurs and Traders, the National Agricultural Federation, and the National Federation of Artisans. To ensure that democracy in Mauritania continues to strengthen, CIPE’s training focused on the role of associations in a democracy, association management and governance, advocacy basics, and strategic planning.
The program itself was inspired by a thorough diagnostic assessment of over 40 business association across the country that took place from November 2009 to January 2010 and examined the socio-economic environment and the capacity of business associations to advocate for reform. The assessment indicated that Mauritania’s transition to democracy has led to significant challenges to Mauritania’s business associations.
The participants have expressed their interest in continuing to work with CIPE to improve the performance of their associations. As a follow-up to the training program, CIPE is providing one-on-one technical assistance to some of the participating business associations. The success of these activities has laid the foundation for future CIPE work in the country.
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