This article was originally published on the IFC website.
As part its efforts to re-engage with the Central African Republic, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, supported the organization of a five-day national forum on private sector development presided over by Catherine Samba-Panza, the country’s transitional Head of State. The forum was co-financed by IFC’s Conflict Affected States in Africa Initiative (CASA), which is supporting private sector growth in nine fragile countries in Africa (Burundi, CAR, Côte d’Ivoire, DR Congo, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone, South Sudan). CASA is supported by donor partners Ireland, the Netherlands, and Norway.
Workshops during the forum focused on forestry, mining and agriculture as key development sectors, and introduced a public-private partnership (PPP) model to infrastructure development. Other key issues discussed included taxation, investment incentives, women entrepreneurship, and inclusion in the regional economy. IFC has previously worked with public and private sector partners in the CAR to improve the investment climate and support small business growth, particularly in and around the capital, Bangui.
Jean Christophe Carret, World Bank Country Manager for the CAR, said, “The World Bank Group is open to re-engagement with key internal and external stakeholders in the CAR to promote private sector-led growth through support to the health and infrastructure sectors, including transport and energy.” The forum’s goals included identifying bottlenecks hindering the development of the private sector, and nurturing a new economic development approach for the country