To help Africa find the path to its long-deserved economic fortune, the African Development Bank (AfDB) is championing the region’s premier investment market.
The bank is providing a collaborative leadership for a new 100% transactional initiative; the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) which provides Africa’s best opportunity so far to encourage accelerated economic transformation.
This was contained in a press statement by the AfDB after it held a breakfast session with government and private sector leaders at the 2018 Africa CEO Forum in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
It said the AfDB is working with leading financial institutions to de-risk investment through the platform and make it a springboard for Africa’s economic transformation.
‘’This is not a talk shop. There will be no political speeches. It provides an open platform to organise efforts among multilateral institutions, governments and private sector to improve a pipeline of projects capable of transforming the continent,” the statement said.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB however noted that the cost of doing business in Africa is steadily improving.
“Last year, and the year before, at least 30 percent of all the business and regulatory reforms that were done globally were not done in Asia. They were not in Latin America. They were done in Africa. If you look at what is happening in terms of foreign direct investments coming to Africa, it continues to rise. Why are they rising? This is because of the greater political stability that is found on the continent,” he said. “So there is a lot of optimism about our continent and in fact there is a discussion among our leaders towards an Africa beyond aid.”
Adesina said the human and material resources, if well harnessed, will make Africa the powerhouse of the world.
“I think that the sovereign wealth of Africa is actually not being invested in Africa. It is being invested outside of Africa. And if Africa doesn’t invest enough, then who is going to invest? One of the reasons this happens is because people have a perception of risk. But the issue is not risk. It is about how you manage risk.”
Ken Ofori-Atta, Minister of Finance, present at the forum stressed that the bond market should be a strong part of the new move to mobilize resources for Africa’s economic transformation.
Ofori-Atta lauded the idea of the AfDB and partners coming together through AIF to de-risk investment.
“The reality for the world is that Africa has to be, and will be, the best place to invest in future. What do we do for ourselves so that we unlock our own potential for investments? I think the emphasis now is on increasing infrastructure so that we open up the continent for investment opportunities to be properly exploited,” he said.
By Mawuli Y. Ahorlumegah