The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission, with the technical support of the World Bank Group’s Advisory services, has completed the implementation of an investment climate Scorecard to help attract private investors and enhance cross-border investments in ECOWAS’ 15 member countries, which are home to more than 350 million consumers.
The Scorecard was launched in 2017 under the Improved Business and Investment Climate in West Africa Project, an initiative funded by the European Union and implemented by the World Bank Group. It was piloted in six ECOWAS member countries – Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Mali, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The Scorecard identifies bottlenecks in countries’ investment climate – notably on barriers to investment entry – and helps to identify reforms to be implemented, focusing on the legal and regulatory mechanisms needed to address those challenges for private sector development. The Scorecard then monitors implementation of these reforms.
The implementation of the Scorecard has strengthened the existing public private dialogue platform in the six pilot countries. It also gathered substantial knowledge on the implementation of business-friendly reforms, that will benefit the remaining member countries. The ECOWAS Commission presented the key learnings from the implementation of the Scorecard during a workshop in Dakar.
Mamadou Traore, Commissioner, Industry & Private Sector Promotion, ECOWAS, said: “The Scorecard tracks countries’ efforts to enhance investment between member states. It will foster peer learning and accelerate implementation of our commitments to create a single investment destination – through growing the private sector and delivering benefits to consumers.”
All 15 ECOWAS member countries have endorsed the Scorecard and agreed to its implementation in each country.
For Irène Mingasson, European Union Ambassador to Senegal, “The fact that the EU is financing this Project is testimony of the EU’s commitment to improving regional private sector competitiveness through the facilitation of trade and investment. Our support to improving investment conditions is part of the overall EU priority support to the ECOWAS and West Africa which has been ongoing for quite some time and we are committed with the new Africa-Europe Alliance to increase our support for boosting strategic investment and strengthening the role of the private sector to create jobs.”
Faheen Allibhoy, IFC Senegal Country Manager, IFC/World Bank Group, said: “Fostering a conducive business environment across the ECOWAS block is critical to allow the private sector in West Africa to become more competitive, expand beyond national markets and create more jobs and opportunities. The Scorecard targets reform efforts in order to attract and retain more private investment across the ECOWAS space.”
Going forward, the ECOWAS Commission will coordinate the implementation of the Scorecard in all the member countries and ensure its sustainability. The Commission will also ensure the effective implementation of the ECOWAS Investment Policy and the ECOWAS Common Investment Code.