The civil societies of Huamanga and Huanta, lead by a private tourism company director active in the two municipalities, collaborated to create new economic partnerships that would assist them to recover from the armed conflict initiated by PCP Sendero Lumninoso and the MRTA terrorist group in 1980 and the subsequent Fujimori dictatorship from 1990 to 2000. They established the Ayacucho Center for Competitiveness (CCA), an organization dedicated to the creation of sustainable economic and social development in the region. The CCA, in turn, formed and operated four networks: tourism, farming production, information systems, and crafts.
The objective of the CCA was to stimulate the reconstruction of productive sectors and services of the region, with the additional goal of adapting traditional modes of production to market conditions. Innovators realized that, to accomplish their goal, they had to lobby the State for basic infrastructure public works in Ayacucho; as such, one element of the CCA’s mission is advocacy for the region with the federal government.
The first stage of the CCA’s work was to articulate, coordinate, and arrange new networks among economic actors, many of whom were traditional rivals. By creating a new, independent center for economic development, innovators intended to break traditional clientelist networks, and to end patronage in municipal resource distribution. By creating intermunicipal networks of cooperation, the CCA has also been able to draw upon more resources than might otherwise be available for programming.
The CCA has been successful in incorporating small local producers of goods and services into a larger national and globalized market by centralizing its economic development initiatives. The great diversity of the region’s ecosystem has resulted in a wide range of agricultural products. By creating networks for shared marketing and distribution, the CCA has been able to optimize the farming potential of the region and to improve competitiveness of these products in markets outside the immediate locality of Ayacucho.
As the projects instituted by the CCA continue to grow, the mission of the CCA has broadened to address other, non-agricultural and craft sectors in the region. It has also become a center for the diffusion of economic information and through regular radio broadcasts.