Deals worth US$32 billion secured at the Africa Investment Forum
By Rolex Owino
Participants from Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), institutional investors, sovereign wealth, equity and private sector CEOs from across the continent congregated in Johannesburg, South Africa to attend the first ever transaction-based Forum on the continent – the Africa Investment Forum.
Already on the second day of this high-stakes event, of 61 transactions valued at US$40.4 billion tabled for discussions in boardroom sessions, 45 deals worth over US$32 billion secured investment interests. The final figures of secured deals will be disclosed in due course.
The investment forum, a three-day marathon investment marketplace event with more than 1,000 delegates – was organised by the African Development Bank.
The President of the African Development Bank, Mr. Akinwumi Adesina, was delighted with the developments. “The needle is shifting, pointing to the right direction, pointing to Africa. I am thankful for the investors, I am thankful for the confidence they have in Africa. Africa has grown up. Africa is not going to be developed by aid. It will be developed by investment and I think you are beginning to see it.”
Mr. Adesina further stated that the outcome of $32 billion worth of transactions as a big success. “I could not be happier…but we don’t want to congratulate ourselves. The responsibility that lies on our shoulders is so huge. This is just the beginning.”
The presence of seven African heads of state and heads of governments also sent a strong signal to global investors that Africa’s leadership is committed to creating a progressive and conducive business environment for investments within the continent.
President Cyril Ramaphosa of the Republic of South Africa, President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea, President Macky Sall of Senegal and President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana – were present.
Other officials included the Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo; the Prime Ministers of Rwanda, Edouard Ngirente and Cameroon, Philémon Yang, as well as ministers representing the Kingdom of Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Niger, and Gabon. In attendance were also Governors and Board members of the African Development Bank.
Some of the deals include the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA), signing to acquire an equity stake in the Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank, formerly known as PTA, as well as the Mara Group announcing the production of their newest product, the Maraphone – the first made-in-Africa, full-scale smartphone, soon to be manufactured in plants across Africa.
The Eastern and Southern African Trade and Development Bank (TDB) and USAID’s Power Africa initiative signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) – that will finance power projects in 22 African countries.
Energy, infrastructure, food and agribusiness opportunities and transactions attracted high-level stakeholders from global and African investors – positioning the Forum as the next big investment frontier, on both Global and Regional levels.
Africa-to-Africa investment emerged as a key take away from the Forum. Gauteng Premier, David Makhura, highlighted $6 billion worth of South African deals signed, and the $ 2.6 billion MOU signing with Ghana for a Skytrain project in Accra.
The African Development Bank convened forum, in partnership with the Africa Export-Import Bank, Africa Finance Corporation, Africa50, Development Bank of Southern Africa, European Investment Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and Trade and Development Bank, brought together – global and continental investors, leading private sector leaders, development finance institutions, globally recognised sports executives, and a number of young tech entrepreneurs.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & The Exchange.