Investment Promotion Agency in Mali (API-Mali)
Project funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB) as part of the Economic Governance Support Project (PAGE)
BACKGROUND AND PROBLEM:
In order to encourage and support the development of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and national investments, and to contribute to the improvement of the business environment, the Agency for the Promotion of Investments in Mali (API-Mali) was established in 2005. Its main mission is to encourage and support the development of FDI and national investments in order to contribute on the one hand, to the improvement of the business environment, and on the other hand to the development of industrial zones.
Since the effective start of its activities in 2009, the Agency’s resources have come mainly from the IDA (International Development Association) Fund, through the Growth Support Project (PAC) and from the State’s counterpart funding. Thus, the support of the PAC project has enabled the development of a strategy to accelerate investment in Mali. The focus of the strategy was on sectors of high value-added and job-generating opportunities as well as those with the best short-term opportunities. The adoption of this strategy and its implementation could not be effective following the political and security crisis that affected the country in 2012 and which resulted in the withdrawal of most development partners.
The closure of the PAC in 2012 had a serious impact on the Agency’s financial balance, and engendered it inability to maintain its quality human resources essential to its normal functioning. This is all the more worrying because it is the strategic functions of the Agency that were deeply affected.
It is in this transitional phase marked by uncertainties that this study is situated, the main objective of which is to propose strategies for the sustainability and improvement of the effectiveness of the Agency’s activities.
The overall objective of the mandate was to provide Mali with an effective investment promotion tool, in this case API-Mali, capable of supporting the National Investment Promotion Policy (PNPI) and implementing the National Investment Promotion Strategy (SNPI). This involved supporting API-Mali in its mission of mobilizing Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) and national investments, in particular through the establishment or improvement of investment incentive mechanisms and tools.
The services provided consisted of:
- Reviewing the current investment code of Mali;
- Reviewing API-Mali texts;
- Producing the Operationalization Guide for the PNPI and the SNPI;
- Developing the communication strategy of API-Mali;
- Developing a mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of the impact of API-Mali activities and relevant indicators for promoting investments in Mali;
- Supporting the implementation of a quality approach and supporting the Agency towards its certification;
- Supporting the implementation of the entrepreneurial regime in Mali;
- Supporting the creation of companies under simplified private signature in Mali.
- A review of Mali’s current investment code and an analysis of the optimal investment circuit for processing applications for approval to the investment code. This has provided Mali with one of the most attractive investment codes, based on international best practices but at the same time preserving national interests and complementary to other investment incentives.
- A review of the texts of API-Mali. The new version of texts offers Mali a powerful investment promotion tool, API-Mali, which should facilitate its transition to a development agency.
- Development of the Operational Guide to the National Investment Promotion Policy (PNPI) and the National Investment Promotion Strategy (SNPI).
- Development of API-Mali’s communication strategy. This new strategy responds to the vision of positioning API-Mali, as the unique office for investment attraction and business climate, and in the long term, to have its transformation into a development agency.
- Design of performance indicators and development of a computerized Monitoring and Evaluation tool for the impact assessment of API-Mali’s activities. We have developed all relevant indicators for promoting investment and improving climate and business practice, and have put in place a rigorous computerized mechanism for monitoring and evaluation of the impact of API-Mali activities, in accordance with the PNPI.
- Implementation of a quality control mechanism and support towards the certification of API-Mali. API-Mali is thus endowed with a quality approach incorporating tools to verify the progress of the implementation of the PNPI and has benefited from a guidance document and capacity building for its march towards certification. The staff of Agency have been trained in the quality approach and certification process.
- Support for the implementation of the entrepreneurial regime in Mali. Mali has a process and tools to formalize informal and small businesses through the introduction of the entrepreneurial regime and opening of regional one-stop-shops for business creation.
- Support for the creation of companies under simplified private signature in Mali. Mali has a process and tool to formalize small businesses through the establishment of a simplified private signature process and regional one-stop-shops for business creation.
The results of this technical assistance have improved the management and communication practices and the overall governance of API-Mali, which has resulted in better performance of the Agency. Mali has also been provided with a new modern investment code capable of attracting productive investments into the country while preserving national interests.