INVESTMENT promotion agencies (IPAs) from Lesotho and South Africa are among four agencies to have won top honours at the United Nations Investment Promotion Awards for excellence in boosting investment into sectors that will have social and economic benefits and help countries meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The awards, organised by the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), honour IPAs and their governments for their achievements, but also showcase best practices in attracting investment into SDG-related projects that can inspire investment promotion practitioners in developing and developed countries.
‘IPAs have a critical role to play in mobilising investment to achieve the SDGs,’ UNCTAD’s director of investment and enterprise James Zhan said. ‘The award-winning agencies show that, by mainstreaming the SDGs, IPAs can make a valuable contribution to social and economic development.’
The awards were presented at a high-profile ceremony in the Assembly Hall of the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, immediately after the grand opening of the World Investment Forum.
Lesotho National Development Corporation (LNDC) received the award for a large horticulture investment project that will create 15,000 direct and indirect jobs. The LNDC is honoured for its proactive role in securing the project and facilitating a partnership approach with joint financing by local and international private investors, LNDC and an international development institution.
InvestSA was awarded for its instrumental role in facilitating two pioneering waste-to-nutrient recycling projects to up-cycle organic waste into natural, sustainable high-protein animal feed. Each project will offer much-needed jobs in local communities and is expected to save an annual 80,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions by diverting organic waste from landfill.
To catalyse efforts to promote investment in the SDGs, UNCTAD’s World Investment Forum features several events explicitly designed for IPAs, including an IPA capacity-building workshop, an investment promotion conference focused on partnerships and investment in cities, dialogues between ministers and business executives, and SDG-related investments by sovereign wealth and pension funds.
The IPA Awards have been given annually since 2002 as part of UNCTAD’s investment promotion and facilitation programme. Winners in 2017 were COFIDES of Spain, the Ethiopian Investment Commission and the Board of Investment of Mauritius.