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For more than 20 years, CIPE’s efforts in Africa have helped build the capacity of business membership associations and strengthen the private sector as a voice for democratic reform and economic growth. In 2010, CIPE partnered with organizations in Nigeria to facilitate unprecedented public-private dialogue opportunities at the state level, bringing increased government attention to the issues of multiple taxation and security. In Kenya, CIPE supported efforts to build coalitions of private sector associations and to advocate for regulatory reforms to local government. In addition, CIPE worked to provide stakeholder input into legislation that will assist the micro and small enterprise sector.
In 2011, CIPE will continue to work with its partners across Sub-Saharan Africa to build relationships between the public and private sectors, strengthen the capacity of business associations, empower women and youth entrepreneurs, and increase access to information. Leveraging democratic openings, CIPE will help business associations advocate for government policies that improve the business environment and create more democratic societies across Africa.
KENYA | IMPROVING DELIVERY OF GOVERNMENT SERVICES
AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
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Throughout 2010, CIPE supported the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM) to build regional business coalitions throughout Kenya to strengthen grassroots political participation. In accordance with the 2010 constitution, Kenya is moving towards a decentralized form of government. Decision-making authority concerning economic policy, taxation, and services will transfer to cities and counties across the country. KAM brought together municipal governments and 29 private sector associations representing businesses in the major cities of Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru to solve local problems and improve government delivery of services. For the first time, a common set of priority issues united private sector associations and government representatives in dialogue. Through private meetings and public roundtables, the private sector and government now actively participate in the democratic process. In 2011, the coalition will continue to work with government on improving service delivery and advocating for reforms at local and regional levels.
The coalitions’ work brought about the following changes in 2010:
- Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru municipal governments reduced the number of unscheduled public health inspections of business properties. This has been a source of friction as the inspectors were accused of levying fines and accepting bribes.
- The municipal governments of Eldoret, Kisumu, Mombasa, and Nakuru reviewed security concerns presented by the coalitions and made improvements in the policing of business areas and the removal of illegal structures.
- In Mombasa and Eldoret, the municipal council made changes that resulted in improvements in garbage collection and traffic congestion, because of advocacy coalition work. Consistent sanitation services and improved transportation help local businesses improve services for customers.
- The business coalitions worked with governments on prioritizing road repairs. The government repaired four major transportation routes in Mombasa and Nakuru after several roundtable discussions.
NIGERIA | ADDRESSING SECURITY CONCERNS TO FOSTER SUCCESSFUL BUSINESSES
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An insecure business environment was cited as the Enugu State business community’s primary concern. Over the past five years, southeastern Nigeria has experienced a significant increase in kidnappings and armed robberies, notably on public roads used for travel and trade. To address this growing threat, the Enugu Coalition of Business and Professional Associations (ECOBPA), led by the Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), conducted an advocacy campaign in the spring and summer of 2010 to improve the security situation. The campaign was directed toward the Enugu State Governor and the National Inspector General of Police to address how the escalating threat of kidnappings and armed robberies is negatively affecting business in the southeastern region. As part of the advocacy campaign, ECOBPA held a two-day Security Summit in May 2010 that drew 300 participants from seven states in Nigeria’s south and southeast regions.
ECOBPA’s advocacy team on security also met with Nigerian National Inspector General of Police Ogbonnaya Onovo to provide detailed recommendations from the private sector on how to improve security in the region and to address the state of bribery at government road stations. These visits received significant media coverage. Onovo reflected business community concerns, emphasizing that “The issue of bribery among police officers has reached an alarming level, especially as the roadblocks are now being mounted for bribe collection. I will soon remove the roadblocks because the objective for which they were introduced has been defeated.”
Enugu Chamber of Commerce Director General Emeka Okereke speaks about his experiences in Nigeria’s southeastern region.
Program advocacy efforts in Nigeria include these results:
- Police roadblocks, which are often used more for collecting bribes than enforcing security, decreased from 65 to 15 stops on a critical trade route 100km long between Onitsha and Enugu. As of July 2010, over 1,000 businesses in southeastern Nigeria are now able to move their goods more efficiently and securely, and at a lower price.
- Police patrols have increased, thereby reducing the possibility of robberies of businesses and kidnappings of prominent businessmen.