The African Investment Forum has received endorsement by stakeholders as a veritable tool that will help the continent rake in an annual sum of $170 billion to meet Africa’s infrastructural development needs.
The forum launched by the African Development Bank (AfDB) is a platform to mobilize private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds and the private sector to facilitate infrastructure projects with the capacity to transform the continent.
Speaking during the launch in Johannesburg, South Africa, the Premier of Gauteng Province, Africa’s seventh largest economy, David Makhura, endorsed the forum as a game changer for financing Africa’s infrastructure development.
Makhura referred to the Africa Investment Forum as more than a Davos of Africa, stating that “we as the Gauteng Provincial Government are very pleased to have won the bid to host this biggest and unparalleled investment platform on the African continent. It’s a great platform that will translate Africa’s professed potentials into real opportunities and progress.”
While Africa is the next investment frontier, there is an urgent need to bridge the gap between available capital and bankable projects, said AfDB president, Akinwumi Adesina, noting the Africa Investment Forum will help make Africa a place where its young people want to live and thrive in.
He said: “The overall Investment gap for Africa to achieve overall economic development is actually much higher and stands at $200 billion to $1.2 trillion a year. Impediments to bankable projects must be resolved to create win-wins for governments, development finance institutions and other relevant stakeholders. Africa must invest in its own development if it wants others to do so,” he said.
“This is the essential reason for the new approach of the Africa Investment Forum, a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform that will incentivize collaboration for the economic and social development of Africa. This will primarily be about transactions and investment deals for Africa’s economic development and not a talk shop.”
Similarly, Investor Relations and Communication Executive at Harith General Partners, Pule Molebeledi, described the investment guarantee component of the AIF as a game changer.
“This will be a major catalyst for projects that are currently stuck in the pipeline,” he said.
A statement by AfDB’s communications officer, Emeka Anuforo, stated that the bank is working with other multi-lateral development partners, private equity funds, sovereign wealth funds, insurance funds, private sector and stakeholders to ensure that the Africa Investment Forum becomes Africa’s key springboard for African investment and for meeting the continent’s massive infrastructure and development needs.
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