Private Sector Development, Privatization, and Industrial Policy

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Sub-Saharan Africa

Sub-Saharan Africa, home to more than 1 billion people, half of whom will be under 25 years old by 2050, is a diverse ...

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  • Publication
    Creating Markets In Namibia : Creating Resilient and Inclusive Markets - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (Washington, DC, 2022-07) International Finance Corporation
    Since achieving independence in 1990, Namibia’s remarkable growth has been fueled by foreign direct investment and enabled by prudent economic management. Since 2016, however, growth has declined steadily and the economy fell into recession, exposing the vulnerability of Namibia’s economic growth model to external and climate shocks. These challenges were exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, an economic slowdown in neighboring South Africa, worsening terms of trade on the back of declining global demand and commodity prices, a decline in Southern African Customs Union (SACU) revenues, and the effects of crippling droughts on agricultural and industrial production. Namibia has very high levels of poverty and inequality, which are largely driven by high levels of unemployment. The primary objective of this Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) is to identify near and medium-term reform opportunities to revitalize the private sector and help reposition Namibia’s growth on a green, resilient, and inclusive trajectory. This CPSD explores priority reform opportunities to address five cross-cutting bottlenecks: (1) enhancing the role and performance of the state-owned enterprise (SOE) sector through a more effective competition policy environment; (2) strengthening implementation of the public-private partnership (PPP) framework to expand private investments, especially in infrastructure; (3) leveraging the potential for digital transformation of the economy; (4) addressing inefficiencies in logistics and trade facilitation; and (5) tapping opportunities in the water sector for green and resilient growth. The diagnostic then looks in depth at three sectors prioritized by the Namibian government - renewable energy, climate-smart agribusiness, and housing, and provides recommendations for reducing sector-specific bottlenecks to stimulate growth potential.
  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Botswana - A Diamond in the Rough: Toward a New Strategy for Diversification and Private Sector Growth - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-06) International Finance Corporation
    Diamonds have been at the center of Botswana’s growth miracle for decade - but the urgency to diversify is stronger than ever. Although Botswana’s economy has undergone transformation over the past decades, the shift has been largely into non-tradable services, with limited gains in employment, income equality, and export diversification. In addition, Botswana’s high vulnerability to climate change, which affects all major sectors of the economy, underscores the need to strengthen Botswana’s response to climate factors as a basis for renewed, sustainable growth. A positive growth outlook and steps taken as part of the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) crisis response should give the government new impetus to accelerate reforms. Success in diversifying the economy will depend on the decisive implementation of structural measures to increase private sector participation in nonmineral exports and transformative sectors. The dominant role that the government of Botswana still plays in large parts of the economy, particularly through its footprint as a shareholder in companies in the corporate sector, is a critical constraint that inhibits the entry and success of private sector participants. Gaps in infrastructure, access to finance, and skills are additional key constraints to employment and productivity growth. A coordinated approach to financing entrepreneurship and policies to increase uptake of digital finance can help close the gap. Trade barriers are another key cross-cutting constraint for the private sector, and a greener path for the economy can be unlocked by facilitating improved trade in environmental goods and services (EGS). Three key recommendations for the energy sector are as follows. The first recommendation is the fast tracking of instruments to facilitate investment in energy infrastructure development, including independent power producer (IPP) licensing, and procurement guidelines and processes. The second recommendation is the enhancement of the institutional capacity and governance model of the Botswana Energy Regulatory Authority (BERA). The third recommendation is the development of credit-enhancement and risk-mitigation strategies and supporting instruments to attract and mobilize private sector investment.
  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Mali: Mobilizing the Private Sector for Economic Resilience and Recovery - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04) International Finance Corporation
    Until the onset of the coronavirus disease 2019 (SARS-CoV2) COVID-19 pandemic and despite the deteriorating security situation, Mali’s economic growth averaged five percent since 2014, on par with its long-term potential. Mali’s fragile state status has also taken a toll on economic activity and social welfare by reducing access to markets, threatening food security, and degrading human capital indicators. With an increasing debt burden resulting in limited fiscal space to address persistent security risks and to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, the government of Mali is compelled to refocus the role of the state and unleash the potential of the private sector to boost productivity growth, to diversify the economy away from a narrow base, and to ensure inclusive economic and social welfare for all Malians. The growth model will be readdressed around energizing investment, creating resilient markets, and building back better for a more resilient recovery via (a) improving the business environment; (b) crowding-in private participation in the delivery of infrastructure and certain public services; (c) ensuring that remaining state-owned enterprises and private firms compete on equal terms - that is, upholding competitive neutrality principles; (d) expanding public-private partnerships in key sectors, through transparent and competitive procurement; and (e) leveraging digital solutions by further enhancing digital infrastructure that would, in turn, increase the uptake of digital financial services and digital platforms for key sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, and digitize government services (e-government).
  • Publication
    Creating Markets in Uganda: Growth through the Private Sector and Trade - Country Private Sector Diagnostic
    (Washington, DC, 2022-02) International Finance Corporation
    This Country Private Sector Diagnostic (CPSD) investigates the potential for greater private sector investment to meet some of Uganda's development challenges. At least 600,000 Ugandans enter the labor market every year, making for a workforce that is increasingly younger and urban based. To address the country’s simultaneous productivity and job challenge requires a focus on growth in sectors that can leverage demand from abroad, are labor intensive, and low skilled. Three sectors hold promise in this regard: agribusiness, which is important for productivity, employment, and export growth; energy as an enabler of overall productivity; and housing because of its role in fueling growth in the labor-intensive construction sector and alleviating the demographic pressures that rapid urbanization puts on Ugandan cities. Within the agribusiness sector, the CPSD considers three of the most promising value chains—fish, dairy, and maize—and undertakes a more disaggregated assessment of the environment for private investment.