oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Using law to protect foreign investors in Southern Africa: an appraisal

Volume 29, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



Many African countries have therefore gone out of their way not only to adopt investment orientated policies, but also to promulgate laws and incentives, often in competition with each other, but sometimes reproducing the same provisions, in the hope of attracting investors. The main bulk of these laws, like other initial exercises of sovereign power, manifested themselves in the early to mid- independence years from 1960 to 1990.8 However, in recent years major amendments and re-enactments have appeared. Even Marxist and socialist governments such as Algeria and Mozambique have adopted investor friendly laws. But even more Significantly, virtually all of the newly promulgated African statutes contain tax incentives restricted to a number of years or industries. They also offer tariff protection to incoming capital goods acquired by investors. In turn, however, they impose a number of duties and obligations on investors. Investors are for instance, required to create employment for nationals of the host countries, to bring in technology, provide training, use local materials, set up in rural areas, and give priority to the appointment of local managers. In this article we highlight the nature of the laws and incentives adopted by countries of the Southern African region to attract foreign investors.

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