By Ben Simmons
Over 100 Members of Parliament (MPs) from 40 African countries have agreed to step up efforts to improve the business environment on the continent by reviewing legislation linked to governance, trade barriers, and regional infrastructure in a bid to strengthen sustainable private sector development.
They met during a conference on Private Sector Development in Africa as a Cornerstone for Sustainable Growth held in Kigali, Rwanda, March 14-16.
MPs discussed how they can boost macroeconomic stability by promoting legal and regulatory reforms to encourage productive and sustainable private investments, necessary to boost growth and create jobs in Africa. They also discussed the reforms needed to enable Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to flourish as growth engines; and examined steps Africa’s parliaments can take to promote inclusive growth through sustainable private sector development.
Speaking at the closure of the conference, the Board Chairman of the Parliamentary Network, Hon. Alain Destexhe, said the meeting was a major milestone in Africa’s development process: “The Secretariat of the Parliamentary Network will track progress and gather both successes achieved and obstacles met by MPs seeking to discuss further an Action Plan, which will be reviewed by all participating parliamentarians,” he said.
The conference, which attracted over 200 participants including public and private sector players, and civil society, was hosted by the Government and Parliament of Rwanda and organized by the Parliamentary Network on the World Bank & International Monetary Fund (PN) in partnership with the African Development Bank, the Belgian Government, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.