Why we do it

IPAs are an indispensable part of national and regional development strategies, playing a critical role in attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).

This FDI acts as a catalyst for job creation, technology transfer and sustainable economic growth. IPAs are uniquely positioned at the intersection between the public and private sectors, functioning as the face of governments and the first body contacted by potential investors. This gives them an unrivaled platform for defining, aligning and promoting economic development that aligns with broader social objectives.

A lack of FDI is a barrier to social and economic progress.

Attracting FDI to Africa is difficult. It is even more difficult to attract it to locations outside a country’s capital. Yet, promising investment opportunities abound, especially if considered in conjunction with broader regional economic clusters. Regions that seek FDI need, therefore, to make a determined and well-focused effort at aligning incentives around viable and promising investment opportunities, tailored both to local conditions and world markets. 

SEA offers important support to IPA’s in their efforts to conduct market analysis, identify strategic opportunities and facilitate inward investment.  

Exploring the Impact of increasing FDI

Both domestic investment and foreign direct investment(FDI) advance rural and urban economic growth and development. The distinctive role of FDI is that it brings scarce capital, know-how, technology, and access to foreign markets.  If well embedded in the economic strategies of host economies, FDI can help improve the competitiveness of domestic enterprises, a core foundation of economic growth, job creation and broad-based economic resiliency. 

Job Creation

Jobs are the foundation of an economy. Not only do they provide an economic foundation to build off of but they drive reductions in inequality. 

While some forms of discrimination against women and girls are diminishing, gender inequality continues to this day. Empowering women will require the creation of new opportunities for self empowerment through employment, among other things. Empowering women will require the creation of new opportunities for self empowerment through employment, among other things. ​

Technology Transfer

The emergence of modern ICT technologies over the past decade has fundamentally changed the way investment promotion is conducted. When properly utilized, technology can significantly improve IPA performance.

Technological progress is critical to economic growth and welfare for any country, regardless of level of development. Given fast technological change in more advanced economies, closing the technological capability gap that separates them from developing countries is a necessary condition to put the latter on a path to sustainable development and poverty reduction.

SEA & the SDGs

Integrating SDG metrics into IPA strategy will be a critical step in aligning Public & Private incentives around shared value creation. 

Since their introduction in 2015, the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have emerged as the generally accepted criteria guiding investors interested in achieving impact. The 17 goals cover a wide range of social and environmental goals, the attainment of which are generally recognized as ensuring unambiguous developmental progress for the world’s poor. Accordingly, these SDGs form the basis of SEA’s impact measurement approach.

    SEA provides Investment Promotion Agencies(IPAs) with tools and processes for analyzing, aligning and promoting public investment opportunities to foreign direct investors.


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