AU, UNIDO unveil online platform to grow business in Africa
The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and the African Union Commission launched a new Internet-based Monitoring Platform to map investment flows in Africa and offer investors more information for analysis and decision making.
The new Investment Monitoring Platform unveiled at a meeting in Addis-Ababa recently 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 Yumkella, welcomed the initiative, saying that, "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 survey will start on 23 July in Kenya and Senegal. By the end of October, 22 countries would 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", he said.
The Investment Monitoring Platform, designed in partnership with 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.