Investment facilitation in Africa’s investment agreements
Investment facilitation has increasingly become a hot topic in international regional and national investment policy-making discussions. According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), ‘[i]nvestment facilitation covers a wide range of areas, all with the ultimate objective of attracting investment, allowing investment to flow efficiently, and enabling host countries to benefit effectively.’ Investment facilitation includes, among other principles, transparency, investor services, simplicity and efficiency of procedures, coordination and cooperation, and capacity building. It is one of the services of one-stop investment centers and investment promotion agencies to facilitate and expedite the entry and establishment of investments into the host economy and to assist with access to incentives and support programmes.
Several existing investment legal instruments (international, regional and bilateral, even national) have paid minimum attention to investment facilitation. Investment facilitation crucial for development and should not be isolated from the broader investment policy or law. Governments and intergovernmental organisations are calling for the inclusion of investment facilitation into international investment legal investments and policy. The bulk of existing international investment agreements concluded by African countries, do not contain investment facilitation provisions. A few of the existing treaties have included investment facilitation in preambles and objectives, and occasionally in the substantive provisions.
This Trade Brief seeks to describe how investment facilitation features in the investment treaties concluded by African countries and the implication thereof. The Brief will provide a brief overview of the investment treaties concluded by African countries among themselves and with selected partners, and attempts by African countries to include investment facilitation.
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