Enhancing Integration, Unlocking Investment in West Africa
West Africa is stepping up efforts to integrate regional economies and improve the investment climate with the support of the World Bank Group. At a mid-June event in Dakar, a regional public-private dialogue framework was launched to jointly identify regional and national investment constraints, facilitate investment-policy improvements, and enhance integration in the region. Preliminary national investment policy reform agendas were developed for each country that are part of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
More than 50 representatives participated in the two-day event from the public and private sectors of the 15 ECOWAS countries, including ministers from Senegal, Niger and Liberia. The member countries strongly welcomed the initiative. It was hosted by ECOWAS and the West African Economic and Monetary Union.
Kalilou Traore, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Industry and Private Sector Promotion, said, “This project will enable our region’s integration into the global economy while ensuring the competitiveness of our private sector by improving the business climate.”
“West African countries have enormous potential to strengthen competitiveness and increase trade and investment flows, which can drive growth, reduce poverty, and deliver jobs in the region.”
– Houria Sammari, Manager, IFC Sub-Saharan Africa
Reforms target investment entry regulations and investment incentives, to help reduce uncertainty for investors, enable governments to attract more and better-quality investments to their countries, and increase the flow of investment across the region. The improvements will be monitored through scorecards and offer opportunities for member countries to discuss best practices.
Speaking at the event, Houria Sammari Manager, IFC Sub-Saharan Africa, said, “West African countries have enormous potential to strengthen competitiveness and increase trade and investment flows, which can drive growth, reduce poverty, and deliver jobs in the region.”
The Improved Business and Investment Climate Project four-year project is funded by the European Union (€7.7 million) and implemented by the World Bank Group Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice. Source