Public Consultations on the Framework for a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) mechanism on Private Sector Development

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Ministry of Trade and Industry


Consultations Period: Mon June 01, 2020 - Thu December 31, 2020

The proposed Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) framework outlined in this Concept Note provides an institutionalised process for consultations between Government and the Private Sector. The objective is to establish a regular and sustainable process of dialogue between Government and the Private Sector that encourages clarity and consistency in the implementation of private sector development and investment climate policies and regulations.

BACKGROUND AND CONTEXT
One of the most critical success factors for enhanced private sector performance and growth is the effectiveness of the Private Sector’s contribution in defining and improving the policy and regulatory environment within which they operate. Regrettably in many African countries, including Ghana, there is no institutionalised process for long-term engagement between Government, public sector institutions and private sector operators. This often results in the introduction of policies and regulations that are inimical to the interests of the private sector. It also breeds mistrust and the lack of interest in compliance on the part of the private sector, which ultimately results in a weak response to Government policy interventions to develop the private sector.
In Ghana, there have been several well-meaning attempts, either by Government, the Private Sector and Development Partners, to create forums aimed at improving consultations between Government and the Private Sector. Examples include:

  1. The Ghana Investors Advisory Council (GIAC), chaired by the President of the Republic held annual meetings from 2002 to 2008. It was a 30-member Council, made up of top business executives (including nine international corporate executives), Ministers of State and other representatives from Government, Private Sector Associations and Donor Partners.
  2. The Private Enterprise Foundation (now Private Enterprise Federation) was established as an apex body to facilitate consultations between Government and the Private Sector, forge consensus between Private Sector operators and promote Private Sector advocacy. This was intended to end the practice where various associations sought their individual interests making it difficult to build consensus and negotiate/advocate common interests.
  3. The National Economic Dialogue/Forum (NED/NEF) – a high-level conference organized annually by some previous Governments bringing together various stakeholders to deliberate on critical economic policies and regulations.
  4. PSD Working Group Meetings – under the Private Sector Development Strategy (PSD I/PSD II) funded by Development Partners, several Working Groups Meetings were organized between Government, Private Sector and Development Partners to discuss and formulate recommendations to address private sector operational bottlenecks and enhance competitiveness.
The shortcomings of previous PPD Mechanisms in Ghana include the following:
  1. Lack of coordination and weak capacity for developing rigorous evidenced-based recommendations
  2. Overlapping mandate between Ministries
  3. Poor coordination between Donors and Development Partners in supporting Private Sector developments.
  4. Lack of trust between various Stakeholders
  5. Lack of authority to ensure that critical decisions taken or agreed to are consistently followed through by Government and the Private Sector
  6. No specific performance assessment or evaluation mechanism to monitor actions of various stakeholders and demand accountability for results.
It is against this background that the enhancement of Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) has been identified as one of the key pillars of Government’s transformation agenda. The PPD mechanism proposed in this Concept Note is designed as the coordination and implementation framework for putting the PPD requirements of the transformation plan into operational effect.

FRAMEWORK FOR THE NEW PPD MECHANISM IN GHANA
A combination of international best practice and lessons learned from experience in the past has informed the need to make the new PPD process in Ghana permanent and sustainable. Based on international best practice, PPDs are normally structured along four phases:
  • Sector Diagnostics and Prioritization of constraints affecting competitiveness of Private Sector operators; 
  • Elaboration of Sector Specific Action Plans;
  • Implementing Short Term Actions and Developing Longer Term Policy actions; and 
  • High Level Business Forum to announce decisions and progress arising from PPD consultations or to escalate issues that have not been resolved at the level of stakeholder consultative forums.
Inclusive Participation
PPD consultations are to be organized along the following lines:
  • Government to Government – between MDAs and other Public Sector institutions 
  • Private to Private – between various private sector associations, bodies and groupings 
  • Development Partners and Donor Agencies 
  • Multi-Stakeholder Consultations - Whilst traditionally PPD has been driven mainly by Government and major Economic Operators in the private sector (and their representative bodies), the revamped PPD process will include other important stakeholders, who will contribute their own perspectives to recommendations on the key thematic priorities. They include the legislature, academia, civil society, organised labour, youth, gender advocates and the media. This will ensure that there is broader commitment and support from key stakeholders to work towards achieving agreed targets. It will also help sustain interest of other stakeholders in the PPD processes. 

All Year-Round Consultation and Coordination of PPD Implementation
  • Regional and District level consultation activities will be organised all year round
PPD Coordinating Committee 
  • A permanent Coordinating Committee for PPD, made up of Ministers and representatives of the Private Sector (nominated by the private sector and interest groups) will meet quarterly to discuss and take action on critical issues emerging from all year inclusive consultation process. It will be co-chaired by the Minister of Trade and Industry and a Private Sector co-chair.
CEOs Executive Forum
  • Quarterly breakfast meeting will be organized by the President for Top Business Corporate Executives from both local and foreign companies.
Annual Presidential Business Summit
  • This will be an annual event hosted by the President of the Republic to climax ongoing dialogue between Government, Private Sector and other stakeholders. The outcome of the Presidential Business Summit is a Ghana Business Compact, which will be the fundamental document of agreed commitments that would feed into Government’s policy framework for private sector development, including but not limited to the Budget Statement and Economic Policy for each Financial Year. In this regard, the PBS will be part of the Budget Preparation Process. 
A Business Compact will be negotiated between Government and the Private Sector 
  • This will a matrix of key objectives, specific recommendations, key performance indicators and timelines negotiated and agreed annually by the PPD Coordinating Committee as the new Compact between Government and the Private Sector. 
SUPPORT REQUIRED FOR EFFECTIVE PPD IMPLEMENTATION
The following are the inputs required to develop and sustain a robust PPD process and structures in Ghana:
  • Centralised Coordination Mechanism within the private sector to coordinate inputs into the PPD mechanism
  • Technical, Administrative and Logistic Support: Technical, Administrative and Logistic support is required to ensure effective and efficient dialogue at all levels for each stakeholder group. This requires the establishment of a PPD secretariat to be hosted at the Ministry of Trade and Industry.
  • Technical Papers: Sector Experts will prepare technical papers to support deliberations on thematic issues by stakeholder groups.
  • Dialogue Facilitators: Experienced Facilitators will be engaged to moderate the dialogue sessions within each stakeholder group and during the PBS.
  • M&E Framework: The PPD will be underpinned by the implementation of a robust M&E framework designed to monitor, evaluate and track performance and accountability for results.
  • Communication: A comprehensive Communication Strategy and Plan will be implemented to enhance transparency and visibility of the PPD mechanism.
  • Funding for PPD Mechanism: In addition to Government budgetary resources, funding support will be mobilized from the Development Partners to support the implementation of the PPD mechanism in Ghana

Key Provisions

The key features of the new PPD Mechanism is as follows:

  1. Inclusive Participation
  2. All Year-Round Consultation and Coordination of Implementation
  3. PPD Coordination Committee
  4. CEOs Executive Forum
  5. Annual Presidential Business Summit
  6. Business Compact to be negotiated between Government and Private Sector

Comments

The Ministry entreats the general public to make contribution into this framework to enrich it.

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Framework for a Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) mechanism on Private Sector Development
Ministry of Trade and Industry
pmmc
p.o.box mb 47, Ministries, Accra