A better investment climate in Africa - Business views
- In recent years, African countries have made great efforts to improve their investment climate, while GDP growth and foreign direct investment (FDI) flows have registered a positive trend. A favourable investment climate is key to attract and retain more private investment, create more and better jobs and improve the lives of their citizens. It goes hand in hand with macroeconomic stability, good governance and the rule of law. Access to markets, the available physical and digital infrastructure as well as a country’s policy framework are also key factors. This needs to be accompanied by development financing institutions making more extensive use of innovative financial instruments and blended finance to leverage additional private-sector investment and complement scarce public development funds.
- Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) as drivers of change are important instruments to boost economic relations between Africa and Europe. They remove tariff and non-tariff barriers to regional and international trade and prepare the ground for deeper disciplines that encourage investment in value-adding sectors. Boosting trade and investment and encouraging the creation of regional value chains, EPAs should be used as building blocks to continental free trade in Africa.
- Education and professional training that provide people with the skills required by the labour market are key factors for development. Cooperation between universities, research institutions and vocational education and training (VET) programmes from both continents needs to be strengthened, including under the EU Erasmus+ programme.
- A closer dialogue between the public and the private sector in African countries at all levels can be a strong catalyst for reforms, helping to identify problems, find solutions and create an enabling and inclusive business and investment climate. The EU delegations as well as European private-sector organisations should help to foster dialogue.