"Empowering Market Actors" Learning Series: Public-Private Dialogue
In Rwanda, 72,000 agricultural small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) present a major opportunity to effect change in the sector and spur broad-based economic growth inclusive of smallholder farmers. Over the past five years, the USAID/Rwanda Private Sector Driven Agricultural Growth project (PSDAG), has explored, developed, and refined its multi-pronged approaches to helping increase smallholder incomes by promoting private sector investment in Rwanda.
The cornerstone of PSDAG’s success in improving local private sector partners’ market viability has been a US$5 million Value Chain Competitiveness Fund (VCCF), through which the project identified SME partners and provided co-investment grants that allow them to invest in technology upgrades and strengthen relationships between themselves, producers, investors, and financial institutions. The VCCF was utilized to reduce risk and accelerate private sector investment; help partners pilot new technologies and business models; support capacity building via knowledge transfer; facilitate increased access to finance in the sector; and enable SMEs and associations to strengthen organizational and advocacy skills.PSDAG has partnered with over 50 SMEs, 92 cooperatives, and four civil society associations to address their investment and advocacy challenges.
Through this five-part Agrilinks Learning Series, we will share some of our key thinking, processes, and lessons learned related to Cooperative Professionalization, Access to Finance, Social Inclusion, Business Development Services, and Public-Private Dialogue. We hope that donors, governments, and partners will find these learnings useful as they design and implement their own efforts moving forward.
In Rwanda, there is a need for more focused partnership between the government and the private sector in order to improve the conditions and outcomes that can help spur investment in agriculture. In the past, dialogue and consultation between the Government of Rwanda and the private sector have been sporadic and ad hoc; a more sustainable, established arrangement for public-private collaboration in the agriculture sector is needed. The PSDAG project has therefore worked with stakeholders to improve and institutionalize approaches and platforms for public-private dialogue as a mechanism to establish a joint vision for and ownership of the nation’s development goals.
The attached PSDAG Learning Brief highlights lessons learned from PSDAG’s experience designing, implementing, and monitoring outcomes of public-private dialogue.