Realizing the Potential for Profitable Investment in Africa

High-Level Seminar organized by the IMF Institute and the Joint Africa Institute
Tunis, Tunisia, February 28 – March 1, 2006

Sound macroeconomic policies, particularly fiscal discipline and private ownership, are necessary but not sufficient conditions for strong economic performance. Since most African countries have made significant progress towards macroeconomic stabilization and privatization, promoting the profitability of investments becomes particularly important.

Over the years, African policy makers have become aware of the need to reform and the types of reforms that are required to promote investments, but they still face difficulties in the implementation of such reforms under specific local conditions.

The seminar will allow participants to share their practical experiences in the promotion of investments. This will provide an opportunity to debate practical solutions for overcoming key obstacles that stymie the profitability of investments.

Targeted participants include high-level officials from governments (e.g., ministries of economy, planning, and development; revenue authorities; investment promotion agencies) and central banks. The seminar will involve contributions by experts from official agencies in Africa, international financial institutions, the private sector, and academia.

The seminar is being organized by the IMF Institute under the auspices of the Joint Africa Institute. Attendance is by invitation only. Queries regarding the seminar may be addressed to

This website contains papers and web links to papers/presentations that will be considered at the high-level seminar Realizing the Potential for Profitable Investment in Africa. The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.

Provisional Program

Tuesday, February 28
8:15–9:00 am Registration
9:00–9:15 am Welcoming Remarks
  Karin Millett, Director, Joint Africa Institute
  Leslie Lipschitz, Director, IMF Institute
  Khelil Ladjimi, Secretary of State in charge of International Cooperation, Tunisia
9:15–10:45 am Session I: Overview
  Chair: Peter Isard, Senior Advisor, IMF Institute
  General Perspectives on Obstacles to Investment in Africa
Peter Montiel, Professor of Economics, Williams College
  Perspectives from Investment Climate Surveys and Doing Business Data
Vincent Palmade, Lead Economist, FIAS, World Bank Group
  General Discussion
10:45–11:00 am Coffee Break
11:00–12:30 pm Session II. Perspectives from the Experiences of African Private Investors
  Chair: Henock Kiflé, Chief of Staff and Director of the President’s Office, African Development Bank
Moeletsi Mbeki, Deputy Chairman of South African Institute of International Affairs
  Mthuli Ncube, Professor of Finance, Wits Business School; former Chairman of the Barbican group and the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair company
  General Discussion
12:30–2:00 pm Lunch Break
2:00–3:30 pm Session III. Strategies for Promoting Access to Finance
  Chair: Karin Millett, Director, Joint Africa Institute
  Issues Paper
Ernest Aryeetey, Director of the Institute of Statistical, Social, and Economic Research and Professor of Economics, University of Ghana
  Case Study on Equity Finance
Jo' Schwenke, Managing Director, Business Partners Ltd.
  General Discussion
3:30–3:45 pm Coffee Break
3:45–5:15 pm Session IV. Strategies for Improving the Incentive Structure of Tax Systems
  Chair: Peter Isard, Senior Advisor, IMF Institute
  Issues Paper
Jean-François Ruhashyankiko, Economist, IMF Institute
  Case Study on Tax Incentives
Andrew Masters, Manager, Legislative Research, South African Revenue Service
  General Discussion
7:00 pm Dinner
  Speaker: Goodall Gondwe, Minister of Finance, Malawi
Wednesday, March 1
9:00–10:30 am Session V. Strategies for Improving Infrastructure
  Chair: Gilbert Mbesherubusa, Assistant Director of Infrastructure, African Development Bank
  Issues Paper
Antonio Estache, Senior Advisor, Infrastructure, World Bank
  Case Study on Energy Infrastructure
Férid Nandjee, Managing Director, Azito Énergie
  General Discussion
10:30–10:45 am Coffee Break
10:45–12:15 pm Session VI. Private Sector Involvement in Infrastructure
  Chair: Roger Gaillard, Manager, Infrastructure and Public-Private Partnerships, African Development Bank
  Public Private Partnerships
Richard Hemming, Senior Advisor, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department
  Public Risk in Private Infrastructure
Timothy Irwin, Senior Economist, Infrastructure Economics and Finance, World Bank
  General Discussion
12:15–1:45 pm Lunch
  Speaker: Donald Kaberuka, President, African Development Bank
1:45–3:45 pm Session VII. Concluding Roundtable
  Chair: Leslie Lipschitz, Director, IMF Institute
  Luciano Borin, Director, Private Sector Development, African Development Bank
  Maggie Kigozi, Executive Director, Uganda Investment Authority
  Mthuli Ncube, Professor of Finance, Wits Business School
  Vincent Palmade, Lead Economist, FIAS, World Bank Group
  General Discussion