A public-private dialogue (PPD) is a dialogue between the private and the public sectors that not only focuses on improving government policies but majorly providing a platform that allows business experts to work hand in hand with the government towards boosting economic development. The interactions could involve formal discussion forums, entrepreneurs advising the government on investment, social networks that encompass the business market, politicians and state officials. This leads to credibility as it builds trust between the private sector and the state.
The COVID-19 Pandemic induced financial strains that resulted in economic crises in many African countries and no single mode of funding will be enough to service the COVID-19 financial gap. Stakeholders in charge of domestic investment are in turn entitled to closely partner with the government in promoting a more sustainable economy with the aid of a PPD.
Investment Climate Reform(ICR) Facility
The ICR Facility is co-funded by the European Union (EU), the Organization of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) under the 11th European Development Fund (EDF), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the British Council. The facility is implemented by GIZ, the British Council (BC), Expertise France, and SNV. and supports public and private stakeholders In African Caribbean and Pacific countries. The ICR Facility is set to intervene in Botswana by providing technical assistance to Business Botswana (BB). This intervention, which is being led by KCIC Consulting Limited (KCL) on behalf of the British Council, aims to provide technical expertise to facilitate PPDs with the Business Councils, Local Authorities and other public and private stakeholders in the country. The intervention is also expected to promote private sector development in Botswana by stimulating the understanding of the Private Sector Recovery Plan.
Importance of the PPDs
The ICR intervention in Botswana will help identify the immediate economic activities that are implementable for the benefit of the Business Council constituents and their business survivals. A majority of organizations will be able to effectively implement government policies by actively partaking in the process. As a result, some incompetent traits such as tax evasion, bribing state officials and breaking the law will be minimized leading to economic, social and political stability. This accelerates success considering most developing countries are able to shift their attention into utilizing fully the scarce resources available. Policies whereby the state and private sector funding are bound to be complementary, further facilitate development of transport and infrastructure and management of water services for Africans which fosters growth.
Most governments in African countries have been able to reassess the roles they are supposed to play in shaping the economy through PPDs. The private sector has the right to challenge the government into being transparent and reliable. As it is well known, African states are not really aware about what the people want. The private sector has been able to cover more ground by aligning objectives and interests of the people leading to the rise of clear and competent leadership. With this kind of coordination comes the creation of formal governance mechanisms that play a huge role in improving diffusion, transparency, security and efficiency of the policies set.
This facility also aims to strengthen engagement between local authorities and businesses. Stakeholders and business experts have well known reasons to pressure their governments on matters concerning legislation and regulatory frameworks. PPDs have been used as a means to address such issues. Due to this influence market failures have been reconstructed accordingly leading to the immense increase in business activities across Africa. The business environment has also been made transparent and easy to predict.
The ICR facility in Botswana seeks to provide a conducive environment for the public and private sector. The hindrance of economic performance and creation of public policies are factors that help keep the government on its toes. As most of the developing countries are excluded from world trade and integration processes, disemboguing in the form of these dialogues provides major incentives for the government. It is therefore critical for the government to seek an understanding between stakeholders (youth enterprises, grassroots enterprises, informal business sector, women led in business, donors and civil society groups). This intervention will therefore develop an agenda for engagement going forward.