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Forum Mobilizes Over $100b Investments For Africa

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – Africa Investment Forum (AIF), Africa’ premier investment platform has mobilized over $100 billion worth of investments in Africa since its inception in 2018.

The AIF is Africa’s investment market place, championed by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and its partners, to accelerate the closure of the continent’s investment gaps. It operates as a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of deals.

The vision of the Forum is to be a leveraging transactional platform that will tilt the balance of capital towards Africa’s critical sectors with the aim of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Agenda 2063 and the High 5s initiative of the AfDB.

This was disclosed in the just concluded edition of AIF Market Days, a three-day event, held in the Ivorian commercial capital, Abidjan. This year’s Market Days event, the third since 2018, took place under the theme: “Building Economic Resilience through Sustainable Investments”.

It was held amid global economic challenges that have been compounded by the impacts of climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Russia-Ukraine war. The event attracted the participation of several African heads of state and government.

The leaders chaired boardrooms and led transactions with potential investors. They included Vice President Tiémoko Meyliet Koné of Côte d’Ivoire, who represented President Alassane Ouattara.

Others were President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia; President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana; President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe; Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor of Liberia; Vice President Philip Mpango of Tanzania; Prime Minister José Ulisses Correia e Silva n of Cabo Verde; and Prime Minister Patrick Achi of Côte d’Ivoire.

The event showcased the AIF’s founding partners’ joint resolve to help unleash Africa’s investment potential in such critical sectors as infrastructure, agriculture, energy, education, the creative industries, sports, and transactions that champion women entrepreneurs.

The forum’s founding partners are the African Development Bank, Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Trade and Development Bank.

Notably, at the close of the 2022 AIF Market Days, the platform has drawn $31 billion in investment interest from African and global investors.

Combined with $32.8 billion from the rescheduled 2021, the AIF Market Days which took place as virtual boardrooms in March this year, the forum has mobilized a total of $63.8 billion of investment interest this year.

The partners said the results this year have exceeded expectations, given that the world is currently grappling with so many unprecedented economic challenges.

President of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina commended the forum’s outcomes and the partners’ commitment.

“Despite the challenges, we are not afraid, and neither have we despaired nor lost hope. We are excited and committed to a collective goal… accelerating the closure of deals to transform Africa and its investment landscape”, he said.

Dr. Adesina said the AIF’s focus is to attract more foreign direct investment to Africa and ensure the private sector remains the driving force of that transformation.

“The private sector is Africa’s growth accelerator. We must mitigate real and perceived risks and persuade the private sector that investing in Africa is safe”, he added.

Similarly, the President of Islamic Development Bank, Dr. Muhammed Sulaiman Al Jasser said in a message that his organization was hopeful that “our commitment and dedication to the AIF will translate into tangible and measurable outcomes for the benefit of our member countries across Africa”.

Al Jasser restated the Islamic Development Bank Group’s commitment to support transformative African projects, especially those promoting resilience, financial, economic, and social sustainability.

Trade and Development Bank Group President and Chief Executive Admassu Tadesse underscored the value of the “AIF spirit” in doing more to advance and close investments.

“Notwithstanding ongoing global crises, we have to keep our eye on the ball. We must continue to encourage and enable investment in agriculture and industry, as well as infrastructure. Growing our own food and manufacturing more will enable us to trade more.

“It will lead to less overall greenhouse gas emissions linked to imports from far away, in the process also generating more employment and opportunities for our peoples”, he further explained.

President of European Investment Bank (EIB), Werner Hoyer said while travelling to COP27, a diversity of ambitious and wide-ranging initiatives, according to him, attracted high interest at this year’s Market Days.

“At the EIB we are excited to see how the creativity and vision of African innovators are making an impact, particularly in the area of technology which holds such great potential for Africa’s future”, he stressed.

Group Executive Origination and Coverage, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Moham Vivekanandan noted that a unique feature of this year’s forum was that it focused on transactions.

“It’s about the project sponsors, the project developers and how we as development financiers help them get their vision implemented to improve the quality of life of Africans, and how we promote economic growth, job creation and industrialization”, he added.

Also in his remarks, the President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa Finance Corporation, Samaila Zubairu said: “The current global economic challenges indicate the critical need to build Africa’s self-sufficiency by investing in resilient infrastructure. Such critical investment is needed to drive Africa’s industrialization and economic prosperity”.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Africa, Alain Ebobisse said the AIF presented a timely platform to help scale up and speed up investments into Africa, especially as partners strive to build the continent’s resilience to economic shocks and climate change.

“Attracting new pools of capital into infrastructure will be critical. More specifically, Africa’s institutional investors, such as pension funds and sovereign wealth funds must play a critical role and will be the game changers for Africa’s infrastructure development”, he stated.

Afreximbank President, Benedict Oramah noted that this year’s AIF reflects, in the number, attitudes and diversity of its attendees, the interest and optimism of global investors towards the continent and its opportunities.

“We close, knowing that the AIF, Africa’s largest transactional investment marketplace, continues to be a huge success. Moreover, the event serves as a measure of international confidence in Africa’s economic and political development, and the unmatched investment opportunities this is creating”, he added.

AIF’s Senior Director, Chinelo Anohu said: “A lot of the successes recorded by the Africa Investment Forum are domiciled in the spirit of the partnership. It’s up to us to ensure the continent is what it ought to be”.

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