THE 2019 Africa Investment Forum opened on Monday living up to its promise to move from commitment to action.
A $500 million equity deal presented by the Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund last year, to speed up investments in agriculture, and a $175 million equity transaction from the Africa Guarantee Fund for investors to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises, are among the transactions that found financial close over the past year.
The opening ceremony was attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa; President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique.
‘The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential…Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities,’ President Ramaphosa said in his address, as he urged investors to move beyond pledges.
The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.
‘As the investor community, your presence here shows your unwavering will to help us and support us to succeed. I invite you, therefore, to join us as we pass the flickering torch of progress across every border of this great continent until the light of development and economic prosperity illuminates every African village, every African town, every African city, in every African household.’ he said.
Accelerating financial closure for transactions
The inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion in less than 72 hours.
‘A lot of progress has been made on these investment interests, with a highly dedicated team of partners working around the clock to accelerate financial closure for transactions,’ African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina said.
Another transaction tabled last year – a $600 million transaction for Ghana’s COCOBOD to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa – has also reached financial close, and will be signed during this edition of the Forum. Similarly, South Africa’s $350 million beef agro-processing project has reached financial close.
‘Promise made, promise kept,’ said Adesina. He noted that Mara Phones Ashish Takkhar made a commitment during the 2018 Forum. ‘In 2019, he delivered.
‘It is a new, more confident Africa. A continent now aware of its place in the world and determined to be a global investment haven. And Africa is harnessing investors’ interests and investments. Welcome to the Africa Investment Forum, the place to be for investors,’ he said.
The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the European Investment Bank.