African Development Bank Promotes Africa Investment Forum in Casablanca

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The
ADB’s Africa Investment Forum initiative is reportedly the start of a
long-term Africa-focused investment platform where investors interested
in the African financial landscape can have better access to the
continent’s many investment opportunities.
In
addition to developing a platform for partnership and expertise-sharing
between African investors and their foreign counterparts, the project
also aims to create an intra-African link between Africa-based private
enterprises.
Promoting
South-South cooperation was also a central concern, with participants
citing some of the latest financial reports on Africa and the necessity
of bridging the continent’s large investment deficit by involving more
private African businesses.
Although
the ADB will not be participating in fundraising for the projects
chosen during the series of forums, participants deem the bank’s
sponsorship important for the success of the project. The bank’s
credibility over the years is particularly valued by participants and
investors, as an ADB-sponsored project is more likely to attract
interest.
Advertising Africa
Speaking
at the forum in Casablanca, Mohamed El Azizi, ADB director general for
North Africa, said that the aim is not only to attract investments to
Africa, but also to give the continent’s investors and growth drivers
the prominence and viability they lack on the global market.
“In big
international forums like Davos, Africa has very little visibility and
space; it does not attract enough investments,” he said. El Azizi
explained that one of the objectives of Africa Investment Forum is to
establish an economic forum that prioritizes Africa and facilitates
“match-making” between African business leaders and their counterparts
elsewhere.
Last
week’s meeting in Casablanca was the third such gathering, following two
previous Africa Investment forums in Cairo and Tunis. The goal was the
same in all three forums: identify profitable markets and projects for
African and foreign fundraisers and investors, in addition to
facilitating exchanges and cooperation between African investors.
Olivier
Eweck, senior economic manager at the African Development Bank, said
that one goal of the Africa Investment Forum is to gather sufficient
data on Africa’s investment and creativity potential, with the long-term
goal of pioneering as many profit-yielding partnerships as possible.

The next
Africa Investment Forum is set to take place in Johannesburg, South
Africa. Organizers expect between 1,000 and 2,000 investors to attend
what is set to be the project’s biggest gathering.