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World Bank Group Helping East and Southern Africa Better Attract Foreign Investment and Jobs


In Johannesburg
Jason Hopps
Phone: +27-11-731-3000

E-mail: jhopps@ifc.org



Johannesburg, South Africa September 20, 2011 — The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group is training a regional pool of experts who will help investment promotion intermediaries in Eastern and Southern Africa better respond to queries from potential investors and draw more foreign investment to the continent for infrastructure, tourism, and other projects.

The World Bank Group is training 20 people at a September 20-23 Johannesburg workshop so they can go on to train investment authorities in Africa and help them provide quality and timely information to foreign investors. The 20 individuals were selected for their investment promotion experience in the region.

The Johannesburg training is part of the World Bank Group’s broader strategy to help Africa improve its investment climate and strengthen its private sector, which includes drawing more foreign investment. A World Bank Group report reveals that all 22 investment promotion intermediaries in Eastern and Southern Africa are missing opportunities to attract investment.

Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking 2012: Eyes on ACP assesses how well 77 countries in Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific (ACP) facilitate investment by evaluating their web sites and responses to two information requests by potential investors with tourism and agribusiness projects.

The report will be released in February 2012. Early results show that the region’s web sites have improved, but its inquiry-handling capability has worsened since 2009. Only three of 22 investment agencies in Eastern and Southern Africa responded when a potential tourism investor asked about building a four-star hotel. Similarly, only three responded to a request to open a seed research and production facility.

David Bridgman, the World Bank Group’s Investment Climate Advisory Services manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “If country information is hard to obtain, foreign investors will simply go elsewhere. The World Bank Group is helping African countries attract the foreign investment they need to strengthen its economy and create jobs by building the capacity of those agencies that deal directly with potential investors.”

The Johannesburg workshop will prepare 10 investment promotion consultants and 10 trainers from the Uganda Investment Authority, Kenya Investment Authority, the Mauritius Board of Investment, the COMESA Regional Investment Agency, the East Africa Business Council, the Millennium Cities Imitative in Ethiopia and Malawi, ACP Business Climate, and other agencies in the region.

The Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking 2012: Eyes on ACP is part of the broader Global Investment Promotion Benchmarking report, which assesses 189 national IPIs. The report is produced by the World Bank Group's Investment Climate Advisory Services and sponsored by ProInvest, a partnership program developed by the European Commission.


About the Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group
The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group helps governments implement reforms to improve their business environment, and encourage and retain investment, thus fostering competitive markets, growth and job creation. Funding is provided by the World Bank Group (IFC, MIGA, and the World Bank) and over fifteen donor partners working through the multi-donor FIAS platform.