Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso – The Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE), along with the Government of Burkina Faso, on Wednesday issued the groundbreaking Ouagadougou Declaration that recognizes the need for business, government, and civil society to work together if a prosperous and democratic society is to be sustained.
“The Declaration is all about making Burkina Faso a stronger society; giving them the tools to govern better and create sustainable prosperity which is the only real antidote to extremism, underdevelopment and social discontent,” CIPE Chairman Greg Lebedev said.
CIPE, along with World Movement for Democracy, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Africa Business Center and the Burkina Faso government jointly launched this initiative the centerpiece of which is increasing the relationship between the private sector, civil society, and policy makers in democratic governance throughout Africa.
The importance of this two-day conference in Ouagadougou was evidenced by the unique participation of three heads of state — Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, Mali President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, and Niger President Mahamadou Issoufou — along with political leaders from Ghana and the Ivory Coast. The Conference included multiple working groups which explored a variety of avenues to create better conditions for economic growth, political stability, and long-term security.
“An overarching goal of the conference was to highlight the fact that the secret of successful democratic governance is the dynamic interaction between business, government, and civil society,” Lebedev said. “We learned a long time ago that economic well-being is at the heart of all stable societies, and that real and sustainable prosperity can only be achieved if private enterprise is encouraged and enabled.”
Africa is a key strategic partner for U.S. businesses, and the U.S. Chamber’s Africa Business Center is focused upon increasing trade and investment that will not only create new and innovative opportunities for both American and African companies, but will result in closer ties between the United States, Burkina Faso and other countries across the African continent.