In June, colleagues from CIPE’s headquarters in Washington, DC were thrilled to visit Nouakchott, Mauritania to reconnect face-to-face with partners of the Sahel Business Coalition and hear about their priorities, as well as brainstorm opportunities to grow the initiative. Since 2020, CIPE has supported representatives of the Sahelian private sector in championing policy reform and public-private dialogue for advancement toward a more positive and inclusive economic development ecosystem in the region.
The CIPE team met with leaders from the G5 Sahel Executive Secretariat, the Platform des Femmes du G5 Sahel, the regional coordinator of the Union des Chambres de Commerce et d’Industrie due G5 Sahel , and numerous organizations from the CIPE Sahel Business Coalition. The team also reconnected with representatives from CIPE’s grantees, the Club des Entrepreneurs de Mauritanie (CEM) and the Union des Jeunes Entrepreneurs Mauritaniens (UJEM), to learn more about how entrepreneurs are leading economic reform conversations in Mauritania. In June, CEM hosted a workshop on how small and medium enterprises contribute to economic development, as well as strategies to improve the overall business environment in Mauritania and the Sahel. An article about the event can be found here.
One of the themes that arose from conversations throughout the trip from both business and government representatives was the need for increased communication and knowledge-sharing on best practices to jointly advance economic development initiatives that support community-level and regional stability. As evidenced by the meetings from this mission with partners, the private sector in the Sahel is leading the mobilization effort of local and regional governments, think tanks, local institutions, and development partners to create a sustainable, economic growth agenda in the Sahel. With an emphasis on the inclusion of a diversity of voices, such as women and youth, CIPE and its Sahelian private sector partners intend to continue the positive momentum forward of strengthening institutional capacity, sharing evidence-based research, and facilitating public-private dialogue forums that deliver impactful economic reform to Sahelian communities.
In light of the conversations from this trip and the needs identified by partners, CIPE is hosting a regional conference in Nouakchott this November. The conference will focus on encouraging the continuation of regional dialogue platforms and collective action between the public and private sectors to support the sustainability of agreed-upon priorities and policy recommendations for the region.