Peer to Peer Learning on Public-Private Dialogue
Mauritius, a small island nation located in the Indian Ocean, is known for its economic and social stability. The country's success is due, in part, to its long history of public-private dialogue, which was recently the focus of a Peer-to-Peer Learning Workshop organized by the EU regional technical assistance facility Africa RISE and the Regional Multidisciplinary Centre of Excellence (RMCE).
A public-private dialogue (PPD) is a dialogue between the private and the public sectors that not only focus on improving government policies but also on providing a platform that allows the private sector to work hand-in-hand with the government towards boosting economic development. 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 vital role in improving diffusion, transparency, security and efficiency of the policies set.
The workshop, held on February 8th, 2023, was organized at the request of the Economic Development Board of Madagascar, which was seeking to learn about the benchmarks for PPD in the region. The plenary session, held in a hybrid format, brought together leading stakeholders from the public and private sectors in Mauritius, diplomatic representatives and international stakeholders who participated via the online platform. Specific examples were presented on how Mauritius dealt with the financial crisis, how Mauritius engages in trade agreement negotiations, and how Mauritius has been changing the business process landscape in the country by undertaking reforms. We also had stakeholders from Burundi, Rwanda, Ireland, Germany and Kenya who presented best practices in the PPD engagements in their country.
Participants in the plenary session from Mauritius included representatives from Business Mauritius, the Economic Development Board (of Mauritius), the International Trade Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Eclosia Group and the Mauritius Chamber of Commerce and Industry. To offer a wider African perspective, international participants and speakers joined the session from several countries including Namibia, Tanzania, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Burundi, among others, to build their own knowledge and share their experiences and testimonies.
The RMCE was established jointly by COMESA, the Indian Ocean Commission and the Government of Mauritius and with COMESA on its Board of Directors is based in Mauritius. RMCE is a platform to advance regional integration and economic development by coordinating economic reforms and promoting peer learning and peer support. The RMCE proposes to support this initiative to promote peer learning and support on Public-Private Dialogue.
Commenting on how RMCE can support peer-to-peer learning in the region, Prakash Hurry, Office in Charge, explained:
“RMCE will broker the experiences of countries, which have found innovative ways in resilience and sustainability, to help participating states develop and implement reforms, build capacity and initiate short-term successes and ultimately spill overs, and organize events. The RMCE, in close collaboration with Africa RISE, will also follow up on requests for support during implementation and assist in mobilizing the required expertise from peers, IFIs, G20, development partners and consultants.”
Mauritius places a strong emphasis on continuous improvement of the business environment in the country. In recent years, it has stepped up its business facilitation and reform agenda through moves towards modernization, digitalization and automation across the public sector, with the strong backing and involvement of the private sector. The Economic Development Board (EDB) has a crucial role to play in leading the ongoing dialogue with the private sector to ensure that the business facilitation framework is fit for purpose. EDBM requested the support of EU Africa Rise to provide support and capacity building towards building reforms and public-private dialogue for Private Sector Development. As a regional facility, Africa RISE decided to develop this request into a peer-to-peer learning exercise via a workshop.
On the public sector side, the EDB also has an important role to play in view of its mandate to promote trade facilitation, including the signature of trade agreements. Before the final signature of such agreements, an analysis must be done regarding what the country can supply, or export, in terms of both goods and services, and Mauritius is positioned most favourably in negotiations.
Dina ANDRIANTEFINIRINA, in charge of PPD, from the Economic Development Board of Madagascar, said, "We are here with the support of Africa RISE and RMCE to see the best practices of public-private dialogue in Mauritius. We have seen the private sector groups and Mauritian authorities who are stakeholders in public-private dialogue. We were able to identify their practices, which have been tested and have produced very concrete results. We are here to see how to adapt them to Madagascar's context and how we can improve our own public-private dialogue."
The Peer-to-Peer Learning Workshop on PPD was an excellent opportunity for stakeholders from Mauritius and other African countries to share their experiences and knowledge. It was also a chance for countries like Madagascar to learn from best practices and adapt them to their context. The workshop highlighted the importance of PPD in achieving mutual confidence and improving economic and social development for the good of the country. Overall, the Peer-to-Peer Learning Workshop on PPD was a valuable exchange of ideas that will continue to shape development in the region.
- You can download the presentations on this link