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World Bank Group Helping West and Central Africa Better Attract Foreign Investment and Jobs


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Johannesburg, South Africa ó The Investment Climate Advisory Services of the World Bank Group is training a regional pool of experts who will help investment promotion intermediaries in West and Central 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 13 people at a September 20-23 Johannesburg workshop so they can go on to train investment authorities in West and Central Africa and help them provide quality and timely information to foreign investors. The 13 individuals were selected for their investment promotion experience in the region.

The Johannesburg training is part of the World Bank Groupís 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 24 of 25 investment promotion intermediaries in West and Central 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.

Due for release in February 2012, early results show that only Senegalís Agence Nationale pour la Promotion de líInvestissement et des Grands Travaux (APIX) responded to both the tourism and the agribusiness investors in an effort to secure the projects for the country.

David Bridgman, the World Bank Groupís Investment Climate Advisory Services manager for Sub-Saharan Africa, said, ďIf 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.Ē

The Investment Promotion Agency of Mali (API-Mali) emerged as number one in the sub-region, based on the reportís rankings. Other agencies that performed at the top of the regionís ranking, with scores over 45 percent, were those of Senegal and Ghana.

The Johannesburg workshop will prepare seven investment promotion consultants and six trainers from APIX, API Mali, the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre, ACP Business Climate, the Millennium Cities Initative in Mali, 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 Groupís 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.



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