Private Sector is a Valuable but Often Overlooked Partner in Stabilizing Fragile States, Report Finds

Private sector valuable partner in fragile states

BROOMFIELD, Colo.— In a world in which the unpredictability and insecurity of fragile states have become the norm, a new report by OEF Research, a program of the One Earth Future (OEF) Foundation, an NGO focused on building peace by supporting local governance, provides a rare look at how the private sector conducts its affairs in the three fragile jurisdictions of Somaliland, South Sudan, and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. These affairs are conducted in spite of weak institutions, lack of trust in government, legacies of abuse by economic actors, and a jaded international community.

The report, Firm Behavior in Fragile States: The Cases of Somaliland, South Sudan, and Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, authored by OEF Research’s, Dr. Victor Odundo Owuor, highlights the stabilizing role businesses play in fueling local economies which create jobs, providing employees with meaning, structure and identity—essential counter weights to forces which contribute to state fragility.

“Based on interviews conducted for this report, it is clear that economic opportunities are a key component to building governance systems that lead to peace,” said Larry Sampler, president of One Earth Future. “Although economic development is not the only catalyst needed to build local governance, it is absolutely critical, making business the lynchpin in a complex system of stabilizing forces.”

The report, Firm Behavior in Fragile States, is to be launched at an event co-hosted by the Center for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and OEF Research in Washington, D.C. on April 11. Panelists will provide insights based on the report’s findings, for those looking to do business with, and in, these fragile jurisdictions. They will also offer suggestions on how area governments and international development agencies can intervene to strengthen the institution of business.

Panelists include:

  • Lars Benson, Regional Director for Africa, Center for International Private Enterprise
  • Arshad Sayed, Chief Executive Officer, Global Connect
  • Joseph N. Stamboulieh, Chief Executive Officer, SITICO Petroleum
  • Danielle Walker, Senior Director, U.S.-Africa Business Center, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
  • Scott Stearns, State Department Correspondent, Voice of America (discussion moderator)

Additionally, Ben Musuku, task lead for the World Bank’s Financial/Private Sector Operation in Somalia/Somaliland, will offer concluding comments.

Download the full report for free.

For more information, please contact One Earth Future at +1 303-533-1715, or Ken Jaques at 202-721-9245,


About the One Earth Future Foundation:

OEF is a self-funded, private operating foundation seeking to create a more peaceful world through collaborative, data-driven initiatives. We focus on enhancing maritime cooperation, creating sustainable jobs in fragile economies and our research actively contributes to thought leadership on global issues.

OEF Research is the One Earth Future’s think tank focused on global peace and security.

We conduct empirical research on the predictors of peace and on the role of good governance in building and sustaining peace and we share that research with scholars, policy makers and all interested in a more peaceful world through our published reports, discussion papers and educational forums.