Africa Investment Forum - Governments, Financiers Discuss Partnership Deals

It is an initiative of the African Development Bank to close up project financing gaps which government budgets and traditional development institutions are unable to seal.

Financial investors worldwide are currently meeting with top government officials and private sector stakeholders from African countries. They are gathering in the first edition of the African Investment Forum organized in South Africa by the African Development Bank. The forum, in which PM Philemon Yang is representing the Head of State of Cameroon, was officially opened November 7 by Manemolla David Makhura, Premier of South Africa's Northern Province, who opined Africa needs to emerge from poverty to prosperity.

Governments and investors at the three-day forum are examining 61 investment deals which are a combination of over 230 bankable projects worth 208 billion US dollars (circa FCFA 119 trillion). The projects presented by participating countries are in the sectors of energy, transport and utilities, agriculture, telecoms, water, education, housing, aviation and health, among others.

During one of the plenary sessions held on the first day of the forum, entitled "Delivering as One for Africa," partners of the African Development Bank were all agreed that the participating multinational institutions in the forum have the potential to tilt the investment balance and channel the much-needed investment to Africa.

Speaking at the session, African Development Bank President, Akiniwumi Adesina remarked: "This is not an event. It is a platform where governments, private sector, investors and project promoters come together. We develop quality bankable projects, de-risk them and actually make sure it happens." He urged participants to seize the opportunity and fast-track the continent's investment and development agenda, otherwise known as Agenda 2063 of the African Union.

Meanwhile, the 'Infrastructure Financing Trends in Africa 2017' report released at the opening of the Africa Investment Forum by the Infrastructure Consortium for Africa shows that funding for Africa's infrastructure has grown by 22 per cent. It reveals that commitments to develop Africa's infrastructure increased to 81.6 billion US dollars in 2017 from 66.9 billion in 2016. Credited for the increase which is the highest since 2010, are a 13 billion US dollar increase in Chinese commitments and a 3.7 US dollar boost in investments by African governments.

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