ECOWAS supports UNIDO’s tool for regional investment promotion

The ECOWAS Commission has expressed its willingness to key into the Investment Monitoring Platform (IMP), a new web portal established by the UN Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) within the framework of the African Regional Investment Promotion Programme.

Speaking on behalf of the President of the Commission during a meeting in Abuja on Monday, 25th June 2012 with UNIDO and African Union (AU) officials, the ECOWAS Director of Private Sector, Mr. Alfred Braimah, said the IMP tool, a major component of AFRIPANET Programme, “fits into the regional investment promotion architecture,” being developed by the Commission.

“A key objective of Regional Economic Communities (RECs) is to attract investors, and we at ECOWAS want to make our region an attractive investment destination and make our enterprises competitive to enable us deliver on our regional development agenda,” the Director affirmed.

In a detailed presentation, Mr. Mithat Kulur, Chief, Investment and Technology Unit of UNIDO, explained that the AFRIPANET Programme produced with the support of a 42-member Pan-African Network of Investment Promotion Agencies under UNIDO’s coordination, has four key components – Data collection, IMP platform, Capacity building and Business linkages.

The goal of the Programme, he said, is to change the culture of investment promotion in Africa, with emphasis on development as against service provision, and for greater economic impact.

The Programme has been launched in 10 of the 19 countries where data were collected while six Sub-Contracting Partnership Exchange (SPX) Centres have also been established, with Mr. Kulur describing as “very positive” the response by the public and private sectors to the tool.

He also noted that the “demand is high” for the investment promotion programme, adding that operationalization and expansion were the next steps.

According to the UNIDO official, the European Union and other partners that contributed about eight million Euro for the development of the Programme, are also “happy with the pilot scheme,” adding that the aim is to make the RECs and the AU key users of the web-based IMP tool.

In his remarks, the UNIDO Ambassador to ECOWAS, Dr. Patrick Kormawa, who is also the UN Organization’s Representative and Director, Regional Office, said the next step is how the Commission could key into the IMP platform and move the process forward to increase investment flow and stock of overall investments in Africa, thereby creating more jobs and wealth.

Speaking in the same vein, the AU Director, Department of Trade and Industry, Ms. Treasure Maphanga, expressed the AU’s satisfaction with the work by ECOWAS in trade and investment promotion in the region.

To underscore the importance attached by the ECOWAS Commission to this subject, the meeting was attended by senior officials of the Commission’s various Directorates as well as representatives of the Nigerian Investment Promotion Commission and the Association of Investment Promotion Agencies of West Africa.

Source: Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) – Press Release – 27 June 2012