The “High-level Regional Roundtable on Investment Facilitation for Development: The benefits and challenges of international investment facilitation frameworks for development for African economies” featured presentations by five trade and/or investment ministers, the Deputy Director General of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and several technical experts. The roundtable, that took place on 3 and 4 March 2021, was organised in cooperation with the International Trade Centre (ITC), the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Union Commission (AUC), the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), and the World Economic Forum (WEF).
200 policy-makers and representatives of Investment Promotion Agencies from the African continent attended the event. It offered a platform for strategic exchange on the dynamic policy discussions and negotiations on investment facilitation for development taking place on various levels and international fora, including the WTO and the African Continental Free Trade Area. The roundtable emphasised that effective investment facilitation policies will be key to Africa’s economic recovery and that institutions need to be improved to support investors, enhance domestic coordination and increase international cooperation in the interest of attracting sustainable foreign investment and promoting sustainable development. It was suggested that African countries, to build capacities to negotiate and implement investment facilitation rules, need technical and financial assistance.