Bending the Arc is a NEPAD project for engaging business in development and accelerating Africa’s progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The project benefits from the support of the United Nations Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP), the United Nations Office of the Special Adviser for Africa (UNOSAA), the African Business Roundtable (ABR) and africapractice.Addressing the opening session of the meeting, the UN Under Secretary General on Africa, Ambassador Legwaila Joseph Legwaila, said : “Today’s event gives us an opportunity to further explore the steps that business can take to help Africa achieve the Millennium Development Goals, and the measures which African nations and our their international development partners need to take to support this.”
Dr Bamanga Tukur, Chairman of the African Business Roundtable, detailed many investment climate reforms in Africa, which are laying the foundations for growth.“For the first time, Africa has been ranked in the top three reforming regions, after Eastern Europe and the OECD countries,” he said. “Forty-five regulatory reforms in 30 economies in the region reduced the time, cost, and hassle for businesses to comply with legal and administrative requirements last year. And this race to reform is not limited to a handful of cases ; two-thirds of African countries made at least one reform.
“These improvements in the business climate have not gone unnoticed,” he continued. “Investors around the world are now pricking up their ears, hearing news of these reforms and realising that opportunity beckons in Africa. Those slow off the mark will regret it.” He concluded by saying : “Across the continent today, I am delighted to say that we are seeing a successful pattern emerge. Put the right investment policy frameworks in place, tell the right people all about it, and investment flows will follow. The role of the media in communicating this information cannot be underestimated.”
Source : nepad news, 22 septembre 2006