A conduit for Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)

The challenge: increasing foreign direct investment and its impact in Africa

The majority of sub-Saharan economies are striving to attract higher levels of foreign direct investments (FDI).  The potential of FDI is perceived as being able to supplement domestic savings, attract skills, knowhow and technology to facilitate market access.  However, FDI in Africa is limited and the sparse flows that are present are directed towards the exploitation of natural resources.

Our approach: the Africa Investment Promotion Agency Network

The Africa Investment Promotion Agency Network (AfrIPANet), established in 2001 is a platform for the development and implementation of UNIDO’s investment related activities in Sub-Saharan region. The network is comprised of Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) from countries of the region with ongoing UNIDO integrated programmes (IPs), plus the UNIDO Investment and Technology Promotion Offices (ITPOs) and an Advisory Panel composed of chief executives of companies with operations in the region, academic researchers studying the dynamics of FDI in Africa and international experts.  The purpose AfrIPANet platform is to provide national and regional intermediary organizations in the public and private sector with timely and accurate information on the needs, performance, impact and future plans of different investor categories in Africa.

Currently there are 15 member countries of the network (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania) but this is to be extended to 31 countries in the current biennium.

The objectives of AfrIPANet are:

  • To use the information and analysis from the UNIDO Africa FDI Surveys as an input to jointly develop new strategies suitable for the limited resource base of African IPAs and other intermediary organizations;
  • To jointly investigate issues of particular importance to African IPAs (such as linking domestic investment promotion to FDI promotion, adjusting to increasing importance of South-South FDI flows, maximizing the impact of FDI on industrial development) with a view to develop country/region specific guidelines and cooperative activities among IPAs and improving their effectiveness in influencing policy decisions;
  • To serve as a permanent guiding body for UNIDO in designing capacity building activities focusing interventions in areas expected to bring the most impact and to constitute the platform through which UNIDO interventions in the region are implemented;
  • To provide a permanent platform for training and capacity building of IPAs and maintain continuous linkages between the IPAs and UNIDO’s network of Investment & Technology Promotion Offices (ITPOs), intensifying bilateral interactions between the AfrIPANet and ITPO countries;
  • To develop a growing database on investment in the region based on the bi-annual FDI survey, sub-sector value chain analyses conducted in the course of the country programmes, UNIDO industrial productivity surveys and the company and project profiles. The database, combined with other public information sources, will provide a timely information for both policy makers and private sector decision makers.

In March 2007, UNIDO and Microsoft launched the prototype of a web-based technology solution, which is a key component of the monitoring platform and is designed to further enhance communication between Governments In Africa and potential investors.  Click here for more information on AfrIPANet.

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