Programs in Africa
For more than 20 years, CIPE’s efforts in Africa have helped build the capacity of business membership associations and strengthen the private sector as a voice for democratic reform and economic growth. In the last year, CIPE partnered with organizations in Nigeria to facilitate unprecedented public-private dialogue opportunities at the state level, bringing increased government attention to the issues of multiple taxation and security. In Kenya, CIPE supported efforts to build coalitions of private sector associations to advocate for regulatory reforms to local government. Further, at the national level, CIPE supported stakeholder input into legislation that will assist the Kenyan micro and small enterprise sector.
CIPE will continue to work with its partners across sub-Saharan Africa to build relationships between the public and private sectors, strengthen the capacity of business associations, empower women and youth entrepreneurs, and increase access to information. Leveraging democratic openings, CIPE will help business associations advocate for government policies that improve the business environment and create more democratic societies across Africa.
Ghana: Leading Farmer-Based Business Reform
Increasing food insecurity has heightened the importance of agriculture in Ghana. Associations play a crucial role in engaging Ghana’s small farmers, who constitute a significant portion of the economy, with the government in democratic dialogue. Although the central government identifies priorities and develops policies, those policies are not always reflected at the ground level. Further, farmers and farmer-based associations do not have direct mechanisms of communication with local government representatives to ensure that policies are actively implemented. CIPE partners with the Private Enterprise Foundation (PEF) to provide association management, advocacy, and coalition-building support to farmer-based associations in northern Ghana. With CIPE and PEF support, these associations have strengthened advocacy skills and dialogue with local government officials, providing better access to government-sponsored agricultural development programs.
Program Results & Impact
- The Banbebu Farmers Association’s advocacy efforts to local government resulted in a new regional fertilizer depot, reducing travel time to purchase fertilizer, which sometimes required farmers to travel six miles on foot. Increasing ease of access to obtaining fertilizer has provided 1,000 farmers with the opportunity to improve their agricultural productivity.
- As a result of the Kpene Suglo Farmers Association’s advocacy efforts, Ghana’s Millennium Development Authority has started restoring the road leading to the Kpene Suglo community, thereby improving transportation and increasing farmers’ access to goods and markets.
Nigeria: Strengthening Public-Private Dialogue
A constructive and open dialogue between the business community and legislators is essential to support and reinforce a struggling business environment in Nigeria. In 2010, CIPE partnered with the Jos Business School to conduct training workshops and public-private dialogue roundtables for members and staff of the State Houses of Assembly in the Benue, Nasarawa, and Plateau states. At the workshops, 77 members and 40 staff of the State Houses of Assembly learned about the importance of engaging the business community in policymaking activities. Each workshop was immediately followed by one-day public-private dialogue roundtables. In each state, the speakers of the House of Assembly and approximately 100 assembly members and business community leaders, representing chambers of commerce and business associations, participated in the roundtables.
Program Results & Impact
- The roundtable events were the first-ever official gatherings between the public and private sectors in Benue and Nasarawa states, giving each business community the opportunity to share policy priorities and suggestions for reform with their government representatives.
- CIPE’s advocacy training programs led the Nasarawa Rice Millers Association to successfully advocate to the Nasarawa State Government for a 7.5 million Naira intervention for the improvement of the power and water supply to the hub of the rice industry.
Kenya: Advocating for a Better Business Environment
CIPE has partnered with the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to support regional business coalitions throughout Kenya to strengthen grassroots political participation. CIPE worked with KAM’s local chapters in Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru in the creation of a regional business agenda (RBA), a program by which each chapter brings together a coalition of private sector associations to collectively identify local policy priorities and then lead advocacy campaigns, engaging in public-private dialogue to highlight the issues. Policy recommendations from the agendas ranged from improving transportation infrastructure to streamlining business permit regulations and land taxation. Through the advocacy process, KAM’s regional chapters have demonstrated how coalition-building can be an effective tool to develop and champion joint business agendas with government.
Program Results & Impact
- The Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru municipal governments reduced the number of business property spot inspections, which had been a source of friction as inspectors were accused of levying fines and demanding bribes.
- The business coalition in Mombasa worked with municipal authorities to clarify that single business permits would be valid across multiple towns. In addition, the coalition successfully advocated changes in the administration of the assessment of property taxes.
- The business coalitions in Nakuru and Mombasa worked with government on prioritizing road repairs, which resulted in the local governments’ repairing four key roads.
Ethiopia: Encouraging Market Reform
Thirty-seven associations and non-governmental organizations in Amhara, Harar, Oromia, Tigray, and the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s Region (SNNPR) participated in a series of capacity-building training programs. As part of the program, ten grants were awarded on a competitive basis, enabling the implementation of advocacy objectives. Coalition building, public private dialogue, and evidence-based advocacy are some of the new tools that Ethiopian associations are using to promote policy and regulatory reforms.
Program Results & Impact
- CIPE partner the Oromia Private Agriculture Investors Association (OPAIA) conducted a study on the effects of a two-year export ban and presented the results to the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which then removed the ban and required banks to issue letters of credit to agribusinesses in order to facilitate exports. The UN World Food Program, one of the largest potential buyers of Ethiopian cereal, noted that lifting the export ban secured a competitive market for food purchases.
- Democratic Governance
- Access to Information
- Combating Corruption
- Business Association Development
- Corporate Governance
- Legal & Regulatory Reform
- Informal Sector & Property Rights
- Corporate Citizenship (CSR)
- South Asia
- Southeast Europe
- Middle East & North Africa
- Latin America & the Caribbean