The vision of Peru: a bicentennial reflection

04 September 2018 4 min. read

As Peru heads towards its bicentennial celebrations of nationhood in 2021, the country is gearing up to define its future. After nearly two centuries of independence from Spain, Peru is considered one of the most stable Latin American countries. With 4.7% GDP growth projected for 2018, the country is on target to meet its commitments to the The Bicentennial Plan – a strategic plan for national development devised at the turn of the century.

Whilst the country may have slipped for the first time in 16 years this year in its poverty reduction goals – with the poverty rate rising one percentage point to 21.7% – there was only one defining moment for Peru in 2018; the impeachment of the country’s president and the political scandal that rocked the foundations of Peru’s democracy, implicating everyone from the Chief Justice to the President of the Supreme Court. 

In response to this saga and with her head turned towards the future, EY Peru Partner Beatriz Boza asks the question, “who are we as a nation and what do we believe in?” The Bicentennial Plan may have been conceptualized almost two decades ago – before any of these political scandals began – but the values promoting social equality and transparency are transferable to today’s era of institutional crisis.

Boza, a specialist in corporate governance, institutional transformation and sustainable development for the Big Four consulting firm’s Peruvian branch, argues that whilst the Bicentennial Plan may have not gone as intended, the 28th of June, 2021 brings with it a defining movement; Peru can either dwell on its past, divided, or “advance towards our bicentennial as a more prosperous nation, just, peaceful and supportive”.

The vision of Peru; a bicentennial reflection

Her vision for Peru is built off five characteristics that together will help define the coming century. “We are a diverse country, integrated to the world, with citizens who are owners of their destiny and recognized companies as pillars of their development, that forge together a future with roots.”

Boza has had a career spanning through public service, as a teacher, all the while being a social activist. She joined EY in 2012 and today works as a business consultant in family business and high growth sectors. According to the EY partner; “there are five characteristics that have helped me in moments of turbulence to understand the behavior of our society and, from there, it’s possible to see, with hope, what Peruvians can achieve together.”

The first characteristic is Peru’s diversity. With a strong indigenous population, migrants that date back to the Spanish conquistadors, and a myriad of other ethnic, cultural, geographical, biological and personal diversity, the country’s multiculturalism is considered one of the greatest throughout Latin America.

“We are a mega-diverse country, in which ‘the other’ is a mirror of our dignity and in everything else, it shows diversity,” Boza states. “This means cultivating the value of respect and tolerance, as well as the institution of democracy as basic elements of peaceful coexistence in society.” 

“We are a diverse country, integrated to the world, with citizens who are owners of their destiny and recognized companies as pillars of their development, that forge together a future with roots.”
– Beatriz Boza, Partner at EY

Peru’s successful integration into a global society is Boza’s second characteristic. Again a Latin beacon for international collaboration, cultural and economic, the country is “part of the global village, where fluid exchange enriches and defines us. As a basis for this is the value of freedom that is based on the institution of the market and the freedom of information that we have conquered together.” 

The third characteristic is the country’s drive for development based out of creativity. “Innovation is the value that underlies and the institution that powers responsible business activity, which earns the citizen recognition in the construction of a better country,” Boza states, noting that Peru’s creativity has brought many jobs to the country and added to the nation’s bottom line. 

For Boza, the fourth characteristic must be the most important transition of all if Peru will succeed in advancing in the coming century; citizenship. “To become masters of our destiny entails a transformation of the binomial State-citizen and the use of power in favor of the common good,” she says, referring to the country’s political institutions. “The fundamental value at stake here is equality and responsibility.” 

The last of the characteristics which Boza touches on is the one which defines the country and is becoming increasingly important to the millennial culture; Peruvian identity. “An inherited legacy, one that we are going to transmit to those who come next. For me, what is at stake here is perhaps the most powerful thing we can articulate as a society: to forge a future rooted in our roots. And this happens by cultivating memory and truth.”