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

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.


  • Getting to Peace Using Open Source Data

    The world is complex enough when everyone is operating with the same set of underlying facts on any given topic. When those facts are hidden or manipulated, overcoming intractable conflict becomes nearly impossible. Sharing open source data among adversarial governments, within governments, and between “Third Siders” and conflict parties gives us a greater chance than ever before to manage complexity and get to peace. Read More
  • ONN Director Laura Rockwood at European Parliament's Korea Delegation Meeting

    On 1 July 2021, Open Nuclear Network (ONN) Director Laura Rockwood participated in a meeting organised by the Delegation for Relations with the Korean Peninsula (DKOR) of the European Parliament. The discussions focused on prospects for denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and recent relevant developments. Read More
  • peacebuilding requires learning, communication, standards, and transparency

    Key Themes From Evidence-based Practice Digital Workshop

    Findings from the recent global study and report from One Earth Future and the Alliance for Peacebuilding was at the center of a digital workshop event on May 14th that was hosted in partnership with the Better Evidence Project at George Mason University. We breakdown some of the main takeaways and conclusions from the event's discussions. Read More
  • networked coordination an effective approach to peacebuilding

    Using Coordination as a Key to Peacebuilding

    The challenges of peacebuilding involve maximizing the contribution of multiple technical experts in an often quickly changing environment, and one where participants may not always trust all other participants or where they may be concerned about maintaining their individual authority to make decisions. OEF's Conor Seyle shares how a coordinated approach to peacebuilding can be most effective in these conditions. Read More
  • Chadian president Idriss Deby killed

    Risk of Instability on the Rise for Chad and the Sahel Region

    Following the announcement by the Chadian government on April 20 that president Adriss Deby had died after 30 years in power, OEF analyst Matthew Frank breaks down the poltical situation in Chad and discusses what OEF's CoupCast data shows about the risk for further instability in the country and throughout the greater Sahel region. Read More
  • the important of using evidence to make decisions in peacebuilding

    How Do We Get to an Earth Without War?

    OEF's Executive Director and Chief Operating Office, Jon Bellish talks about OEF's commitment to Relentless Empiricism as core to its belief in and support of iterative problem-solving and careful, analytical design. He discusses how OEF relies on evidence to cut through complexities in order to solve concrete problems at the root of armed conflict, and bring new, collaborative forms of governance into being in its place. Read More