Building capacity to help Africa trade better

Regional Investment Policy Framework for the Southern African Development Community


Regional Investment Policy Framework for the Southern African Development Community

Regional Investment Policy Framework for the Southern African Development Community
Photo credit: OECD

In 2012, the 15 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) identified the OECD’s Policy Framework for Investment (PFI) as a reference for developing a regional investment policy framework specific to the SADC region. This framework is a key input to the SADC Regional Action Plan on Investment, and it builds on national-level analytical assessments, peer-learning, and best practices from OECD and non-OECD countries.

The SADC Regional Investment Policy Framework aims to facilitate regional co-ordination and exploit economies of scale in improving investment frameworks and policies across SADC member states. It also provides a mechanism for knowledge-sharing and policy dialogue around good practices.

The framework is being developed around four thematic pillars: 

  1. lessening the costs of restrictions to foreign investment; 
  2. improving legal regimes and mechanisms to enhance investor protection;
  3. co-ordinating effective regimes for tax incentives for investment;
  4. facilitating long-term investments in infrastructure.

Action-oriented regional guidelines will be developed which will focus on practical steps that can be put in place to improve the investment climate across the SADC region. These guidelines will be accompanied by instruments to support implementation processes, including monitoring indicators to benchmark reforms and their impact. 

The framework and regional guidelines are due to be finalised by November 2015. This work is taking place within the context of the NEPAD-OECD Africa Investment Initiative, and also draws on the OECD Tax and Development Programme.

5th regional workshop  Johannesburg

The 5th regional workshop to develop the framework was held on 23-24 March 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Participants from Southern African Community for Development (SADC) countries discussed the joint OECD-SADC draft guidelines on investment policy, tax incentives and infrastructure which will make up the SADC Regional Investment Policy Framework due to be launched late 2015.

During the workshop participants also collaborated on regional guidance to promote investment for development. During 2015 and beyond, SADC countries and the OECD will work together in using this guidance at regional and national levels.

Timeline for developing the framework

Nov 2013

1st focus meeting – Pretoria

Introduction of policy pillars and member states were called on to volunteer in topic-specific expert groups. 

Follow up: Diagnostic questionnaires for each policy pillar prepared by the OECD and shared with member states.

March 2014


2nd focus meeting – Johannesburg

Discussions focused on countries' key concerns and the technical elements required to guide responses to the questionnaires. 

July 2014

3rd focus meeting – Pretoria

Presentation of draft analytical reports for the policy pillars on tax incentives, and infrastructure investment.

The Global Taskforce updating the PFI attended this workshop, enabling peer-learning from other regions.

Oct 2014


4th focus meeting – Pretoria

Presentation of draft analytic reports for policy pillars on FDI restrictions, and investor protection. SADC integration into global value chains, and implementation priorities for the framework were also discussed.

March 2015


5th focus meeting – Johannesburg

Presentation and discussion of draft regional guidelines for all 4 policy pillars with member states; identification of options and priorities for peer exchange and monitoring activities. Download agenda

Spring/Summer 2015

Finalisation of regional guidelines with member states and continued peer exchange and benchmarking.

Nov 2015 Official launch of Regional Investment Policy Framework


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