Increasingly, the private sector as a whole and civil society in particular are seen as keys to development. An effective and functioning state apparatus is essential for any developing country but, in AKDN’s experience, complex development agendas cannot be left only to the state. A nation’s growth - and some would argue its very survival - requires private initiative (both for-profit businesses and non-profit civil society organisations) to make full and effective use of the country’s human potential, generate material resources, and develop a vibrant and robust socio-economic base.
Aga Khan Urges Support for Civil Society at Afghanistan Conference
Statement at the Kabul Conference on Afghanistan (Kabul, Afghanistan)
The Enabling Environment
In post-conflict countries, in particular, the creation of jobs is one of the greatest determinants of a nation’s success or failure.As for-profit businesses are essential for creating jobs and providing goods and services, AKDN supports the promotion of an enabling environment - laws and policies that allow, favour and mainstream a socially responsible private sector. Such an environment stimulates local initiative and draws inward investment, both of which can have rapid and dramatic effects on employment and human resource development. In post-conflict countries, in particular, the creation of jobs is one of the greatest determinants of a nation’s success or failure.
AKDN also supports the creation of enabling environments for civil society organisations - those organisations which are powered by private energies but designed to advance the public good. Working in fields such as education, health, science and research, they embrace professional, commercial, labour, ethnic and arts associations, and others devoted to religion, communication and the environment. Many fight poverty and social inequity. An enabling environment encourages such organizations to shoulder a share of the burden of national development. It also persuades good managers, doctors and teachers to stay and serve their country rather than to emigrate once they are skilled.
His Highness the Aga Khan first used the term "enabling environment" in 1983 in Kenya, initiating dialogue that led to an Africa-wide Enabling Environment Conference in 1986. A second Enabling Environment conference was held in Afghanistan in June 2007 (Find out more on the Enabling Environment conference).
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