9 July 2009

Re-issued as received

UNIDO, African Union Commission to launch Internet database to galvanize business development in Africa

VIENNA, 9 July (UN Information Service) - Mapping investment flows in Africa and offering investors more information for analysis and decision making is the aim of a new Internet-based Monitoring Platform launched by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the African Union Commission at a meeting in Addis-Ababa today.

The two-day event was attended by the Ministers of Industry from Cote d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya and Senegal, as well as representatives of the African Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, African investment promotion agencies, the private sector, and UNIDO experts.

The new Investment Monitoring Platform will provide data and information on the characteristics of foreign and domestic investors, as well as their motivations, actions, perceptions, intentions, and impact.

UNIDO Director-General, Kandeh K. Yumkella, welcomed the initiative, saying: "The Monitoring Platform will bring a new level of transparency to the investment and business landscape in Africa. It will allow country ranking through investor evaluation and performance. It will also enable investors to conduct analysis and make more informed decisions, better assess business risks, and identify potential counterparts."

The data on the platform will be supplied through bi-annual surveys of both foreign and domestic investors conducted in more than 20 African countries by UNIDO. The first surveys will start on
23 July in Kenya and Senegal. By the end of October, 22 countries will have been covered.

"The information gathered will also allow for a better understanding of the impact of the global financial crisis on investment flows in Africa. It will help Government and national agencies design more effective investment and business policies, promotion strategies and services that respond to investor needs, and formulate viable industrialization strategies for the continent," said Yumkella.

The Investment Monitoring Platform, designed in partnership with the Microsoft Corporation, is supported by the African Union Commission and financed by the European Union Commission, the Governments of Austria, Italy, Turkey and South Africa. It is the result of the collaboration between UNIDO and the Investment Promotion Agencies Network (AfrIPANet), established in 2001 and currently comprising more than 40 members throughout Africa. One of its objective is to promote partnerships among investment promotion and industrial development stakeholders at the national and regional levels.

The investment monitoring platform is part of the industrialization strategy for Africa adopted by the Conference of African Ministers of Industry at Durban, South Africa, in October 2008.

For more information, please visit: www.unido.org/afripanet or contact: afripanet@unido.org

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For further information, please contact:

George Assaf
Spokesperson, UNIDO
Telephone: (+43-1) 26026-3849
Email: g.assaf@unido.org
Website: www.unido.org