African Investment Promotion Agencies urged to raise continent’s value
THE Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Investment Promotion Center (GIPC), Yofi Grant, has called for a strong collaboration among African Investment Promotion Agencies (IPAs) to optimise opportunities that would help position the continent as the world’s most important investment community.
He explained that Africa’s large youthful population presented a significant growth potential such that collaborative initiatives would harness its demographic advantage by developing targeted investment strategies that focus on sectors such as technology, agribusiness and renewable energy.
This, he said, would help build a competitive advantage in emerging industries, attracting not only foreign investments but also encouraging intra-African trade and investment and enable African countries to unleash great potential to create wealth for the youth on the continent.
Mr Grant made the call at the opening of a two-day African IPAs capacity building workshop organised by the GIPC in collaboration with the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) secretariat in Accra yesterday.
Held on the theme: “Equipping African IPAs to promote and facilitate investments for accelerating implementation of the AfCFTA,” it bought together Africa Investment Promotion Agencies to address the challenges faced by IPAs in undertaking their core mandates, build their capacities in investment promotion, facilitation and policy advocacy strategies, as well as equip them for the attraction of sustainable investments.
“It is our singular and collective responsibility that we reposition the continent as the continent of great notice, especially post-pandemic. We must mobilise together and present the African continent as the world’s most important investment community.
By working together, we can foster a more investment-friendly environment across Africa, attracting the investments necessary to generate employment opportunities and propel economic growth,” he said.
Mr Grant said with the right investment strategies and partnerships, investors and businesses will not only benefit from Africa’s abundant resources but also contribute to its sustainable development and economic prosperity.
“Therefore, for us as IPAs, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) protocol on investments is a critical piece for Africa’s economic renaissance. It provides a framework for protecting and promoting investments across the continents.
By establishing a more predictable and transparent investment environment, the protocol will enhance Africa’s attractiveness to both foreign and domestic investors,” the CEO said.
AfCFTA Protocol on Investment
The Secretary General of the AfCFTA Secretariat, Wamkele Mene, said navigating Africa’s investment landscape presents challenges due to disparities and diverse nature of the continent, from infrastructure deficit and regulatory complexities to access skilled labour.
He explained that due to the perceived risks of inadequate legal protections often deterring potential investors, the landmark AfCFTA Protocol on Investment (the Protocol) was adopted in February 2023 by Heads of State and Government of the African Union to harmonise investment regulations across the continent, aimed at providing a more attractive and predictable investment environment in Africa.
This, he said, sought to promote, facilitate, protect and retain investments that foster sustainable development.
The Minister of Trade and Industry, K. T. Hammond, who expressed excitement about efforts to create a unified platform of African IPA said collaboration and promoting investment collectively can work towards reversing years of negative perception and low investment flows to the continent.
“It is imperative that we keep conversations that try to optimise Foreign Direct Invest (FDI) flows to keep the continent alive and leverage all available tools at our disposal including initiatives like the AfCFTA and its investment protocols,” he added.