Governance, democracy and business: Ouagadougou Declaration
CIPE, National Endowment for Democracy and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce launch joint initiative with Burkina Faso Government to bring about greater collaboration between government, business and civil society
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.
We, participants of the Conference on “Governance, Democracy and Business”, held in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, on January 16-17, 2018
Under the patronage of H.E. Roch Marc Christian KABORE, President of Burkina Faso,
And in the presence of:
- H.E. Mahamadou ISSOUFOU, President of the Republic of Niger
- H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar KEÏTA, President of the Republic of Mali
Acknowledge the right of people to be responsible for their destiny under democratic and inclusive institutions.
Assert our strong support for promoting democratic governance, characterized by accountability, transparency, open dialogue, strong market institutions, effective regulation and rule of law.
Acknowledge that smooth democratic governance is the best guarantee for individual freedom essential for economic and social development, economic growth, political stability and security.
Emphasize, in this respect that the roles, though specific, of Governments, parliaments, companies, civil society and social partners are complementary in poverty and inequalities alleviation, human rights protection, ethics promotion, social integration consolidation, creation of economic opportunities, establishment of corporate social liability and environmental preservation.
Encourage the development of performing market economies for sustainable economic growth. Such market economies contribute towards strengthening democratic governance performance by securing economic freedom, competition, fair laws and regulations and mobilizing corporates to combat corruption. They moreover contribute towards developing institutions securing markets safety, fostering company ethics, securing an equal access to information and strengthening the rule of law.
Launch an appeal to public authorities, corporates, workers and civil society to work together to promote, as appropriate, good governance and democracy for fairer and more pacific and inclusive societies.
Done in Ouagadougou on January 17, 2018