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Africa Investment Forum 2022 unfolds continent’s potentials - Daily News Egypt

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Africa Investment Forum 2022 unfolds continent’s potentials

Africa can’t be ignored, if you are not investing in Africa, think again: AfDB President


Abidjan – The third edition of the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) Market Days started on Wednesday in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.

Running from 2 to 4 November, the Africa Investment Forum 2022 is Africa’s largest transactional investment marketplace, bringing together deal sponsors, deal brokers, and dealmakers from around the world.

Côte d’Ivoire is proud to host this forum, said Kaba Nialé, Ivorian Minister of Planning and Development.

She welcomed the African heads of state that are attending the forum, namely presidents of Ghana, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. Also, vice presidents of Liberia, Tanzania, and Côte d’Ivoire attended the forum.

“Africa is the continent of the future, the new frontier for development, now is the time to invest in Africa. I call on all participants of this forum to be bold in their contribution and to ensure this edition of AIF is a success.”

President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi A. Adesina, thanked the president of Côte d’Ivoire for hosting the forum.

Adesina added that the future of Africa is driven by investments, as the Ghanaian President said “Africa beyond aid.”

Africa has shown resilience in recovering from the pandemic, the FDI has risen to $83bn in 2021 up from $40bn in 2020, and by 2050 the continent will account for more than 25% of the world population, he stressed. 

The future of electric cars depends on Africa, as lithium lies in Africa.

President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa
President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa

“The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is the world’s largest trade area, Africa can’t be ignored, if you are not investing in Africa, think again.”

Africa is not as risky as you think, perception is not reality, he stressed, showcasing data that Africa has the lowest risk of infrastructure debt default.

This year’s event will be the first face-to-face gathering since AIF2019. The Covid-19 pandemic resulted in the cancellation of the 2020 Market Days, while the Omicron variant led to the AIF2021 being postponed to March 2022.

Despite this drawback, much work has been done leading up to the Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2022. The objective is to foster productive engagements between the public and private sectors. The Africa Investment Forum has continued to provide investors with access to a funding platform, offering bankable and de-risked projects within an enabling environment.

Côte d’Ivoire Prime Minister Patrick Achi said that in addition to political and security challenges on the continent, this edition of the AIF is taking place in a difficult global context due to the impacts of the pandemic and the Ukraine-Russia crisis.

He added that the Ivorian economy’s resilience helped them to contain the impact of the crisis, hence achieving a 4.7% GDP growth rate in 2021.

However, the external shocks due to the conflict between Russia and Ukraine had brought inflation and a slowdown in growth, as well as difficulties in financing African economies.

“I call on investors to take advantage of the investment opportunities in the continent and Côte d’Ivoire,” he stressed.

In the first session, the President of Ghana Nana Akufo-Addo, the President of Zimbabwe Emmerson Mnangagwa, the President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, and Côte d’Ivoire Vice Président Tiémoko Meyliet Koné discussed the perception of risk of investment in Africa.

President Nana Akufo-Add said that the concept that investment in Africa is risky, is what led to the difficulties that the continent is going through now. We need to work together to provide a better image of what investments in Africa mean.

“Beyond the challenges lies the reality of what Africa holds, 75% of the African continent is under the age of 25, which guarantees dynamism and agility. African governments are making tremendous efforts to facilitate investments,” the Ghanaian president added. 

“The West has misconceptions over Zimbabwe, Africa as a continent should prioritize what we want and then invite investors to it. Our development cannot come from outside, we have to make these choices ourselves. Before we change our perception abroad, we need to integrate among ourselves and look for answers within the continent. Africa has the resources, population, and knowledge, Mnangagwa said.

 

Koné said that risks are currently global and that his country and the whole continent are paving the way for investments. Infrastructure investments in Africa are a priority, he said, adding that “the sooner that we can link our countries and our continent, the faster we will achieve development.”

 

 

The Ethiopian President – whose country is in civil war as we speak– said that “Nothing is risk-free, there is no perfect situation for investors, there is always return on investments, they are long term.”

 

Under the Unified Covid-19 Response, the Africa Investment Forum’s founding partners— African Development Bank, Africa 50, Africa Finance Corporation, Afreximbank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank and Trade and Development Bank—identified 13 projects across five relevant sectors for funding consideration. These projects have a collective value of $3.68bn, with each project helping advance Africa’s self-sufficiency and resilience against future shocks.

 

The Africa Investment Forum’s Deal Tracker mechanism has continued to monitor the conversion of investment interests into financing commitments. It has done so while accelerating the investment allocation process for deals moving towards financial closure. Ten transactions from the 2018 and 2019 Boardroom portfolios made up of deals valued at $3.1bn had successfully reached deal closure by 2021 year-end. The African Development Bank (AfDB) is partly financing six of these deals, with the Bank contributing a cumulative financing of $225.7m to close the funding gap in these deals.

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