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Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others – Adesina at Africa Investment Forum 2018

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others – Adesina at Africa Investment Forum 2018

Johannesburg – When African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, laid out his vision to tilt the flow of capital into Africa by convening the first transaction-based investment forum, little did he or his organisation realise what a flood of transactions will progress from boardroom to investor participation.

The Africa Investment Forum vastly exceeded the expectations of its conveners, the African Development Bank, offering a solid pipeline of projects and a wealth of opportunities ready for investors. After a final review of all boardroom projects, investor interest stood at close to US$40 billion.

Roughly 300 institutional investors from 53 countries, including 23 non-African countries gathered in Johannesburg for three days from 7 to 9 November for the inaugural event.

“Africa is ahead of its time. Business as usual is no longer the norm…from now on it will be Business unusual. All is now set for global and regional investments to make a smooth landing into Africa. The Africa Investment Forum has turned the tide of investment into the continent,” Adesina said.

The value of boardroom projects tabled for discussion during the Forum stood at US$47 billion, up from US$40.4 billion announced on the eve of the closing. The updated figures following a final review indicated that investment interest was secured for 49 projects worth US$38.7 billion, up from US$32 billion

The projects ranged in diversity from infrastructure, Energy, Transport and Utilities, Industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms, Water and Sanitation, Funds/financial Services, Health, Education, Hospitality and Tourism, Housing, and Aviation. A total of 169 bilateral meetings took place in the Marketplace boardrooms. In addition, open marketplace B2B conversations went on throughout the three days.

Notable among the deals which secured investor interest are:

* A US$3.7 billion railway expansion and development project in South Africa. The investment will support the acquisition of new rolling stock trains, expansion of depot facilities and upgrades to existing signaling and train control systems.

* Brass Fertilizer & Petrochemical Project – a US$3 billion investment for the construction and operation of a worldclass petro-chemical facility to produce Methanol (1.75 mil MTPA), Ammonia (1.35 mil MTPA) and Urea (1.35 mil MTPA)

In Africa’s transportation and logistics sector, a major milestone was reached with the launch of “THELO DB,” a new partnership between THELO SA of South Africa and Deutsche Bahn of Germany. The partnership intervenes in the critical railway sector of Africa’s economy, which has an annual deficit of around US$62 billion.

A total of 1914 out of 2200 registered delegates attended the event, signifying strong interest in the Forum.

The main goal of the Africa Investment Forum is to catalyze investments into the continent through a unique marketplace platform designed to advance projects to bankable stage, raise capital and accelerate the financial closure of deals.

The next edition of the Africa Investment Forum will take place in November 2019.


About The Author

SADC Correspondent

SADC correspondents are independent contributors whose work covers regional issues of southern Africa outside the immediate Namibian ambit. Ed.