Enhancing Investment in West Africa

The Role of Investment Instruments in Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations

image of Enhancing Investment in West Africa

The Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the ECOWAS states of West Africa envisages cooperation between the two sides with the aim of enhancing investment and private sector development in the ECOWAS region. This study explores the options available to ECOWAS states for promoting, protecting and guaranteeing flows of domestic and foreign direct investment, in the context of the ACPEU Economic Partnership Agreements, so that development gains are realised in these economies.



The Domestic Investment Framework

The domestic investment framework of each country in West Africa has been shaped, in large measure, by the evolution of its policies towards investment, both local and foreign. From the early 1960s, policy-makers in many West African countries showed considerable ambivalence towards foreign investment, as well as bias against the private sector generally. As a result, they placed general restrictions on the types of economic activities in which the private sector could participate and, more specifically, on the range of activities in which foreign investors could engage, as well as on the share of particular enterprises that they could own. This policy stance obviously created space for increasing the role of the state in the economy.


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