Signing international investment treaties, in the hope of attracting foreign investments, has been a central strategy for governments looking to improve economic development. The less known side of this story is that by signing investment treaties, governments are giving away the sovereign right to regulate in the interest of people and the environment. They also expose themselves to the risk of spending millions in law suits that could have been used to serve public needs. It’s time that the dark side of investment is put under the spotlight.
Whose interest does the ten-year Strategy document for Africa actually serve? The World Bank has shown little insight into the real problems Africa faces, focusing instead on ineffective policies, support for repressive regimes and projects that are known to have failed.