Across all of North Africa, there are thousands of active businesspeople, but the overall government structure of centralized, expert-driven policymaking that leaves no room for citizen input leads to leads to fewer business associations with significantly lower capacity and limited interest to engage on economic reform. For this reason, CIPE’s overarching strategy in the Maghreb is to increase the diversity and plurality of voices of business, as well as increase and reinforce their capacity to represent their members to decision-makers.
Morocco is a key example of that strategy. Over the last two years in Morocco, CIPE has shifted to prioritize its focus on capacity building for voices of business and to help these voices thrive in the Moroccan economic context. The more private sector groups that have the capacity to reach decision makers and advocate the issues their members care about, the more responsive economic policymaking will be to actual needs on the ground.
CIPE has partnered with business association FLASCAM (Federation des Loueurs d’Automobiles sans Chauffeurs au Maroc), an organization CIPE identified over the years as having a base level of capacity, along with a strong interest in growth. CIPE’s current work with FLASCAM helps the association to define its strategic priorities and develop its internal capacity to represent its members. In parallel, CIPE has piloted Morocco’s first Excellence Academy for business associations and chambers of commerce. This three-day Academy will serve as a capacity-building hub for private sector organizations to increase their overall capacity both organizationally and strategically.