Strengthening Policy Dialogue and Inclusivity is Vital for Sustainable Regional Growth and Development

Participants pose for photo during a Parliamentary Policy Seminar on Food Import bans organized by COMESA

There has been persistent concern that Africa’s place at the high table of development and better livelihoods for her people remains unoccupied largely due to a challenging and unpredictable business policy environment. But a keener observation perhaps is that it is not for the lack of policy, per se, but rather a policy environment that is more often ad-hoc and exclusive, often shutting out the very people it is meant to help. This partly explains the rather cautious investment attitude by private sector players despite the numerous opportunities that now exist especially in light of a bigger and liberalized market era as well as opportunities arising courtesy of regional integration. From agriculture and food security, energy and manufacturing, Information and communication to transport infrastructure, regional investment opportunities have never been better. Democratic space has also expanded and steadily, institutions are beginning to take the place of autocratic rule.

But the challenging policy environment need not persist. A number of institutions and interventions have come up to address this scenario. RiimNet-Africa seeks to work with governments and other institutions and actors across the region to make policy making and response more inclusive and consultative. RiimNet-Africa achieves this through availing open and constructive dialogue platforms that bring together the main actors to address emerging and recurrent policy bottlenecks related to regional integration and which hinder the benefits that should accrue from the integration process. We aim at breaking business and social barriers and building enduring strategic and partnerships….