The electronic investment platform, the iGuide, developed by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with UNCTAD, has been unveiled by the Investment Promotion Agency (API) of the Republic of the Congo in Brazzaville.
The initiative promotes the investment potential of the country.
The iGuide is an easy-to-use online platform providing domestic and foreign investors alike with up-to-date and pertinent information on business opportunities as well as applicable laws and regulations. The launch event was attended by representatives of the private and public sector.
The project was initiated at the request of the Republic of the Congo through API. The launch of the platform came at a moment when the country, like many other economies in Africa and elsewhere, is facing difficult macroeconomic conditions in the wake of a commodity price fall.
“Investment is essential to spur economic diversification and this platform reduces the information barrier investors encounter,” noted Annick Patricia Mongo, Director General of the API.
Information on the platform is grouped in seven chapters around the themes of business set-up, labour, production factors, land, taxes, investor rights and growth sectors and opportunities. Each chapter is complemented with data, links to additional resources and assessments collected among investors on the ground.
“The iGuide brings all the information investors may require at their fingertips. Whenever investors want to dig deeper in certain areas, they have access to additional documents and contact details of professionals who can provide them with further details,” explained Joseph Baricako, Economic Affairs Officer at the Investment Policy Section (IPS) of the ECA.
The iGuide for the Republic of the Congo is the first in a series supported by the ECA. The IPS is also concluding work with local officials on the iGuides for Malawi, Nigeria and Zambia. These three online platforms are expected to be launched in the first quarter of the year 2018. The iGuide project falls into the ECA’s advisory services and capacity-building remit.
UNCTAD rolled out the iGuide project in 2013 to offer a complement to the more traditional paper-based manuals. Currently, nine countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the Caribbean, including Burundi, Kenya and Rwanda, have the electronic platform for investors at their disposal.