The African Development Bank (AfDB) has said that investment opportunities were proving to be seriously attractive a year after the maiden edition of the African Investment Forum (AIF).
Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, President of AfDB, was quoted in a statement that the 2019 edition of the forum would provide another platform to address Africa’s annual infrastructure investment gap.
The 2019 edition of AIF, scheduled for Nov. 11 to Nov. 13 in Johannesburg, South Africa, will convene development finance institutions determined to tackle the continent’s infrastructure investment challenges.
“In few weeks, the second edition of the annual Africa Investment Forum will kick off with development finance institutions determined to tackle the continent’s infrastructure investment challenges and advance Africa’s economic transformation agenda.
“Africa Investment Forum 2018 broke the mold for regional investments and offered lessons about what can be done when multilateral development and finance institutions decide to pull their resources together to deliver as one.
“When we laid out our vision to tilt the flow of capital into Africa by convening the first transaction-based investment forum, many thought it would all amount to building castles in the air.
“One year down the road, the verdict is undisputed. Africa’s investment opportunities are proving to be seriously attractive,” Adesina said.
He added that the audacity showed in South Africa in 2018 and the results in terms of investment as well as deals closed would live long in the investor community’s memory.
“We will be reaching for new heights. Already, a robust pipeline of deals valued at billions of U.S. dollars, in energy, cross-border infrastructure, agriculture will be tabled for discussion in the boardroom sessions,” Adesina said.
Mr David Makhura, the Premier of Gauteng province in South Africa, said that the 2019 edition would validate and redefine the perception of investor confidence regarding the African continent.
Alain Ebobisse, the Chief Executive Officer of the Africa50, said the continent was brimming with opportunities that were 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,” Ebobisse said.
He said that Africa’s development challenges needed a robust response.
“Of the world’s 20 countries with the least access to electricity, 13 are in Africa.
“Investment in the region of 43 billion dollars to 55 billion dollars per year is needed until 2030 to 2040 to meet demand and provide universal access to power,’’ Ebobisse said.
2018 AIF attracted 1,943 participants representing 87 countries and brought together 400 investors from 52 countries.