Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

Advancing Africa’s Private Sector Working Group Series

The Advancing Africa’s Private Sector Series is an effort to bring together serious scholars, practitioners, and policymakers to propose practical new ways of encouraging business growth on the continent.  Africa’s future prosperity depends in large part on growing private businesses and unleashing the continent’s vast but still untapped entrepreneurial energy.  The success of democracy also requires an independent business and middle class free from dependence on government largesse and patronage.  There is a critical role for both foreign investors and public policymakers in helping to encourage the private sector in Africa. These are key areas of CGD’s research and the focus of our Emerging Africa Project.

To focus the discussion and proposals, we have divided the effort into working groups on public policy toward business reforms, energy technology, and other major constraints to business.  These areas were chosen based on growing empirical evidence―including a new book by CGD senior fellow Vijaya Ramachandran, Africa’s Private Sector: What’s Wrong with the Business Environment and What to Do About it―on the major constraints facing African business.

The first group of the series focused on Supporting Business Climate Reforms and was chaired by senior fellow Todd Moss. It considered new innovations in aid provision to recommend new policy instruments that structure incentives to encourage business climate reforms—namely, a Doing Business Facility that would provide reform assistance to good performers based on objective indicators. The final reportof the working group is now available.