Accra, Nov. 8, GNA -
The second edition of the annual Africa Investment Forum (AIF) will open in
Johannesburg, South Africa, next Monday with development finance institutions
determined to tackle the continent’s infrastructure investment challenges and
advance Africa’s economic transformation agenda.
The AIF is the African Development Bank’s innovative marketplace event that will bring together project sponsors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, private investors, policy makers, private equity firms, and heads of government.
The forum, which will run from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 November 2019, is to facilitate transactions to close Africa’s investment gap and transform the continent’s economic landscape.
It will provide a co-guarantee and co-financing platform and a pipeline of bankable projects to raise capital and accelerate the financial closure of deals.
Already, more than 30 U.S pension fund managers, private sector CEOs and institutional investors have signaled their strong interest in participating in the Forum, following a road in New York on 27 September 2019.
With over US$38.7 billion investment interest secured in less than 72 hours, the 2018 Africa Investment Forum exceeded all expectations.
Chinelo Anohu, Head and Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum, stated: “We have drastically reduced the number of plenaries, from 13 to 5, to focus more on business discussions and deal making sessions.
As a result, the 2019 Africa Investment Forum is gaining more momentum and we have more partners willing to join this year’s edition.”
The 2018 Forum contributed significantly to reshaping the narrative about Africa. “For decades, the risk or at least the perception of risk has hindered Africa’s efforts to attract foreign investment. The Africa Investment Forum is tackling this problem head-on,” commented the President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi A. Adesina.
The inaugural forum powerfully demonstrated the Bank’s convening power and ability to rally key development institutions, global and regional investors around the common objective of fast-tracking Africa’s economic transformation.
The collective resolve to tackle head-on Africa’s annual infrastructure investment gap, estimated at between US$130 billion and US$170 billion, was on full display during the opening ceremony.
“The inaugural Africa Investment Forum witnessed an extraordinary level of engagement. The conversation moved from talking about investment to advancing deals towards financial closure. 2019 will validate and redefine the perception of investor confidence regarding the African Continent,” said David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng province in South Africa.
For Alain Ebobisse, CEO of Africa50, the continent is brimming with opportunities that are waiting to be seized.
“The Africa Investment Forum not only brings together investors and stakeholders to initiate deals, but can help close transactions that would otherwise take months or years. In infrastructure, this makes a significant difference since the financial and opportunity costs of project delays are high.”
Africa’s development challenges need a swift, bold, and robust response. Of the world’s 20 countries with the least access to electricity, 13 are in Africa. Investment in the region of $43-55 billion per year is needed until 2030-2040 to meet demand and provide universal access to power.
“We will be reaching for new heights. Already, a robust pipeline of deals valued at billions of US dollars, in energy, cross-border infrastructure, agriculture will be tabled for discussions in the boardroom sessions,” he said.
Last year’s Forum attracted 1,943 participants representing 87 countries and brought together 400 investors from 52 countries.
The innovative investment marketplace, brings together heads of state, project sponsors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Policymakers, private equity firms, and other key senior government officials will also be present.