Congratulations to Betty Maina, Chief Executive of the Kenya Association of Manufacturers (KAM), a longtime CIPE partner, on her appointment to a high-level panel that will advise the United Nations on the future of the global development agenda.
The world is a very different place today than it was 15 years ago, when the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that now guide the global development agenda were first adopted. Emerging markets — not only the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India, and China, but also increasingly much of Africa and Latin America — are growing rapidly, and democracy continues to spread around the globe. Poverty, hunger, and sickness, while still far too prevalent, have fallen dramatically in many places.
However, development doesn’t end once the most extreme poverty and the most dangerous health risks are eliminated. That’s why Maina will be an important voice on this distinguished panel, which aims to “coordinate inclusive consultations involving civil society, the private sector, academia, and research institutions from all regions” of the world to advance a development agenda for beyond 2015, when the MDGs are set to expire. As the head of one of Kenya’s leading business associations, Maina understands how important the private sector is to truly sustainable long-term development — and how even very poor countries can create an environment that is more favorable to business and entrepreneurship without sidelining the key health and social issues that are at the heart of the MDGs.
The Kenyan Association of Manufacturers has worked for years to overcome the institutional barriers that prevent entrepreneurs and businesspeople in Kenya from starting or expanding their businesses and creating the jobs and economic growth that the country needs for its development. Fostering meaningful dialog between the private sector and government has been a key part of this process, and CIPE hopes that Maina will continue to be an effective advocate for the private sector in her new role.