Communiqué on the Consultations with National Investment Promotion Agencies of the Great Lakes Countries on improvement of Investment Climate for regional projects Nairobi, 8 December 2015

1. The consultative meeting with National Investment Promotion Agencies of the Great Lakes Countries on how to improve the investment climate for regional projects in support of the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework (PSC-F) of the DRC and region was convened by the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for the Great Lakes Region (OSESG-GL), the African Union Commission (AUC), and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on 8 December 2015, at Oak Place Hotel in Nairobi, Kenya.

2. The meeting was attended by the Ambassador of Sudan to Kenya, representing the Minister of Investment of the Republic of the Sudan and representatives of National Investment Promotion Agencies of: Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Kenya, South Africa, Uganda as well as representatives of the African Union Commission (AUC), Economic Community of Great Lakes Countries (CEPGL), the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), the East African Community (EAC), the Great Lakes Regional Private Sector Forum (GLR-PSF); the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR), the Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for the Great Lakes Region (OSESG-GL); and the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC).

Following intense discussions, the participants:

3. Welcomed the briefings on (i) the Peace, Security and Cooperation (PSC) Framework for the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region; (ii) the ICGLR PACT on Security, Stability and Development in the Great Lakes Region, (iii) the preparations for the Great Lakes Private Sector Investment Conference; (iv) the Investment Opportunities Brief (IOB), (v) the establishment of the Great Lakes Regional Private Sector Forum (GLR-PSF), and (vi) the opportunity to discuss the investment climate from the perspective of regional projects.

4. Noted of the recommendation from the various preparatory consultations undertaken in preparation for the PSIC. These included the roundtable on responsible investment, the compilation of the IOB, the regional consultation on the IOB, the assessment of the market readiness of the projects identified in the IOB, the regional private sector consultation on the establishment of a regional forum, the regional consultation on the regulatory environment and investment climate in the region, the Knowledge share fair   on gender equality in the extractive industries, and the regional SME Forum on the PSIC.

5. Welcomed the emphasis on the importance of observing responsible investment standards as the most effective way of achieving sustainable development benefits, and in particular the emphasis on inclusive engagement of women and youth, good governance and protection of the environment.

6. Discussed the investment climate/environment issues generally and from a regional perspective with a view to enabling increased investment in regional projects. They further took note of the inherent desire of each country to attract investment, and the various measures that countries were implementing to improve the investment climate, although with varying degrees of success.

7. Appreciated the unique nature of regional projects and underscored the importance of improving the investment climate in the region. In that regard, they recommended the following regional approaches:

(a) Greater coherence in regional/national strategies and action plans

(b) Establishment of an overarching regional investment framework aimed at

promoting an action plan for a favourable investment environment

(c) Harmonization of PPP policies and protocols;

(d) Regional cooperation to avoid harmful tax practices and other unfair

competition;

(e) Regional framework for corporate governance and responsible business

conduct based on international norms and standards;

(f) Regional facilities for dispute settlements aligned to international standard but

adapted to the regional context;

(g) Joint preparation of bankable regional projects;

(h) Establishment of a regional facilitation agreement for sustainable investment;

(i) Review of the existing templates for bilateral investment agreements.

8. Appreciated the involvement of the National Investment Promotion Agencies in the preparations of the private sector investment conference and improvement of the investment climate in the Great Lakes Region. They agreed to further collaborate with the OSESG-GL and other stakeholders in identifying and originating project ideas, mobilizing project promoters to better define projects, and in promoting them to high quality and impactful investors.

9. Underscored the importance for member States to embrace the opportunity to organize national investment exhibition stands, one-on-one meetings, marketing and communications at the PSIC in order to showcase national and additional regional investment opportunities.

10. Appealed for closer and continued collaboration and dialogue amongst National Investment Promotion Agencies to address obstacles to investment projects, and promote joint efforts for these projects in the region.

11. Thanked the co-organizers for facilitating the discourse to take place with National Investment Promotion Agencies together with Regional Economic Communities.   Done in Nairobi, Kenya on 8 th December 2015.

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