Johannesburg – In a few weeks, the second edition of the annual Africa Investment Forum will kick off in Joburg, 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.
President of the African Development Bank (ADB) and convener of the forum Akinwumi Adesina said: “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 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.”
The collective resolve to tackle Africa’s annual infrastructure investment gap, estimated at between US$130 billion and US$170 billion, was on full display during the 2018 inaugural forum.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said: “The inaugural Africa Investment Forum witnessed an extraordinary level of engagement. The conversation moved from talking about investment to advancing deals towards financial closure. 2019 will validate and redefine the perception of investor confidence regarding the African Continent.”
Alain Ebobisse, CEO of Africa50 and one of the forum’s key institutional partners, said the continent is brimming with opportunities 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.”
Africa’s development challenges need a swift, bold, and robust response. Of the world’s 20 countries with the least access to electricity, 13 are in Africa. Investment in the region of $43-55 billion per year is needed until 2030-2040 to meet demand and provide universal access to power.
“The audacity showed in South Africa last year, and the results in terms of investment and deals closed will live long in the investor community’s memory. We will reach for new heights. Already, a robust pipeline of deals valued at billions of US dollars, in energy, cross-border infrastructure, agriculture will be tabled for discussions in the boardroom sessions,” Adesina said.
Last year’s Forum attracted 1 943 participants representing 87 countries and brought together 400 investors from 52 countries. The innovative investment marketplace brings together heads of state, project sponsors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds and other institutional investors. Policymakers, private equity firms, and other key senior government officials will also be present.
Africa Investment Forum 2019 will run from 11-13 November in Johannesburg.