Public Private Dialogue

A robust and active Public Private Dialogue (PPD) is a key advocacy tool in any highly functioning economy. As the private sector grows in Rwanda, the business community increasingly demands more access to and influence over the changing regulatory landscape of the developing country.

Prior attempts to launch a unified PPD in Rwanda have had mixed reviews, facing a variety of challenges including:

- lack of uniformity (PPD activities exist in many format) and lack of coordination between them produced redundant efforts and/or lose out on efficiencies;
- Private sector representation was limited to the executives of the Private Sector Federation (PSF) and needs to be more inclusive with broader representation;
- Weak capacity of prior RESC and other PPD forums for developing rigorous evidencebased recommendations and lack of advocacy to the concerned institution for sustainable actions, there was not a clear responsible party for follow up, organizing the back office needs of PPDs, nor solid facilitation and meeting design to achieve outcomes;
-Reforms tended to be initiated and driven by the Government with the private sector playing a reactive role, often late in process where meaningful, researched responses and upgrades are difficult if not impossible.

From the Government side, RDB has been given the mandate and resources to lead on private sector development activities of the Governent of Rwanda. The private sector has empowered the Private Sector Federation (PSF) as their advocate with the public sector so a PPD structure that brings together both stakeholders is key. Both entities can do what they are good at, RDB coordinates private sector issues among the public stakeholders, while PSF coordinates the private sector content and stakeholders in a joint effort.

While it is true that a centralized focus on PPDs has not emerged, there are a variety of success stories of PPDs where action plans were made, followed through, and outcomes achieved.

Examples include the IFC AgricultureTask Force, the Tourism Working Group, the ICT Working Group, the Tax Issues Forum and the NMC PPD at MINICOM. These offer successful lessons learned which have been incorporated in the PPD platform concept.