AIF Partners Reaffirm Commitment to Close Africa’s Infrastructure Gap
Participants at the Forum
The African Development Bank, heads of 34 leading financial institutions covering Africa and other partners of the Africa Investment Forum reaffirmed their commitment to “scale up, speed up, and synergize” efforts to deliver transformative projects across the continent.
The meeting was also attended by lead partners of the Africa Investment Forum: African Export-Import Bank, Africa50, Trade Development Bank, Development Bank of South Africa, Africa Finance Corporation, European Investment Bank, and Islamic Development Bank.
Chief Executive Officer, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Patrick Dlamini, said: “The time has come for us to demonstrate leadership to the rest of the world that a lot is possible in Africa. The Africa Investment Forum provides the right platform to achieve this. To see that the inaugural Forum last year was able to raise the kind deals it did is mind-blowing. ”
Ahead of the November 2019 event, the Bank announced two innovative products – an open digital marketplace known as ‘The Platform,’ to connect funders to projects and investment opportunities across Africa, and an Investment Tracker to ensure that investment commitments made on the Africa Investment Forum platform are closely monitored.
The Platform is developed in partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank’s ConnectAmericas – a global digital community with 200,000 registered business users, consolidating its lead role in encouraging private sector investment in Africa.
“We need to make the Africa Investment Forum the accelerator of projects. Last year’s event was great and we want to build on that momentum,” Africa 50 Chief Executive Officer Alain Ebobissé said, stressing the need to collectively commit additional financial resources for project preparation, and legal support for African governments to better negotiate public private partnerships.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank, said the maiden edition of the Forum held in November 2018 exceeded expectations. “The 2018 Africa Investment Forum ended with 49 deals that secured investor interest worth US$ 38.7 billion—in just three days.” Adesina thanked the core partners for their strong support in making the inaugural forum a success, and that “working together as one remains the core principle of our partnership.”
Partners unanimously affirmed their commitment to the Forum and to driving investments in Africa.
Mamadou Barro, Head Africa, Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector – Member of the Islamic Development Bank (IsDB) Group, said: “We must find a way to collectively attract the kind of funds the continent needs to close its infrastructure gap.”
Participants welcomed the innovative Platform, which offers investors, project sponsors and transaction facilitators a live database of private/public private partnership (PPP) projects and investment opportunities in Africa. It connects providers of capital with opportunities for deals, improves the quality of project information and reduces intermediation costs. Features also include deal flow analytics and investment support services, and access to training in the ConnectAmericas Academy.
Director Project and Export Development Finance, African Export Import Bank, Kofi Adomakoh, called attention to the importance of the co-guarantee component of the Forum, “We must pull our strengths together to identify projects and synergies under the Africa Investment Forum. The African Investment Forum that happened last year was long overdue, but was important to put us back on track,” he noted.
The 2018 Africa Investment Forum attracted 1,943 participants representing 87 countries, and brought together 400 investors from 52 countries;
According to Jane Feehan, Head of Regional Representation for West Africa, European Investment Bank: “We are delighted to underline and repeat our commitment to the Africa Investment Forum. The success of the first edition has given it a huge convening power. We are also excited about the focus on transactions.”