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Malick Sané, professor at Vi's core Senegalese member, Cheikh Anta Diop University, for the third year in a row led his country's launch of UNCTAD's annual World Investment Report (WIR).

Although Senegal's foreign direct investment (FDI) flows increased by US$29 million in 2010, the country did not do nearly as well as others in the continent.

"Investment flows have considerably increased in Ghana," Sané said. "Ghana is practically an emerging economy."

In terms of prospects, Sané expressed some concern. "Senegal is getting ready for elections, and in general investors hold back during pre-election years," he explained. "For 2011, I think the immediate "electoral" effect will put the brakes on investments."

Senegal has made great strides in the area of governance, he said. However, there are other obstacles, such as investor taxation, the size of the country's market and basic infrastructure.

"If companies want to invest and that there is no electricity to run their machines, it's a major problem," he said.

Other factors affecting Senegal's performance include pending disputes at the level of the WTO and a lack of natural resources -- particularly oil -- the main driver of Ghana's gain.