, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – An initiative seeking to provide information on investing in Africa and the opportunity to compare country performance has been launched.
The continental programme is expected to strengthen the information base for doing business on the continent and it will provide an internet-based Investment Monitoring Platform to give greater access to data and information about foreign and domestic investors; their motivations, actions, impact, perceptions and intentions.
A statement from the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) said: “The data on the platform will be supplied through bi-annual surveys conducted by UNIDO and it will provide Government and national agencies with the empirical evidence to design more effective investment and business policies, promotion strategies and services that respond to investor needs.”
“It will also be a state-of-the-art business platform to support investors in collecting information for analysis and decision making; for assessing business risks better; for contacting the right agencies for securing critical support; and for identifying potential business counterparts, both local and international, as buyers, suppliers or joint venture partners,” expounds the statement.
The programme is supported by the African Union (AU) Commission and financed by the European Union (EU) Commission, the Governments of South Africa, Italy, Austria and Turkey. It is the result of the collaboration between UNIDO and the Investment Promotion Agencies Network (AfrIPANet), established in 2001 to serve as a platform for the development and implementation of investment-related activities in Africa.
It is also part of the industrialisation strategy for Africa adopted by the Conference of African Ministers of Industry at Durban, South Africa, in October 2008. In the framework of the same meeting, Susan Kikwai, CEO of KenInvest was elected as President of AfrIPANet, which currently comprises more than 40 Members throughout Africa.
The core element of the programme is the series of surveys of both foreign and domestic investors being conducted in more than 20 African countries. It will allow for an assessment of the interaction between foreign and domestic investors, how one influences the other and how foreign direct investment can be leveraged to stimulate domestic investment.
“The surveys will be conducted through close collaboration between principal national stakeholders. In Kenya, the Ministry of Industrialization, KenInvest, Kenya Private Sector Alliance, Kenya Bureau of Standards, Kenya Association of Manufacturers, Kenya Industrial Research Institute and Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry,” the statement elucidates.
The Kenya survey will start on 23 July and continue through to the end of October. Kenya is also one of two regional hubs for conducting the programme. 1000 Kenyan companies are participating in the survey, representing all sectors and different size groups.
According to the statement: “For the initiative to be successful, it is important that companies selected through the random sampling methodology accept to be interviewed. The data collected with be strictly confidential (in terms linking data to company identity) and will only be used in aggregate form for analysis.”