The impending negotiations of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) must focus on investment facilitation, a senior official of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) has said.Stephen Karingi of the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), believes that investment facilitation is increasingly becoming an area of interest in the investment discourse in Africa.
Speaking at a high-level virtual roundtable on investment facilitation for development, Mr. Karingi, Director of ECA’s Regional Integration and Trade Division, enumerated the benefits and challenges of international investment facilitation frameworks for the development of African economies.
He noted that Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa has declined in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and that investment policymakers face a huge challenge to redress this.
“Investment facilitation will be essential to promote greater value addition and industrialisation in Africa which, as you know, is one of the fundamental pillars of AfCFTA,” he said.
The Executive Director of the International Trade Centre, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, called for a “partnership in action and a partnership for action” to address the health and economic challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We need to pool our resources and expertise to rebuild investment routes in Africa,” as the pandemic has left a devastating impact on investment, illustrated by an estimated 40 percent decline in African FDI in 2020, Coke-Hamilton said.