The African Development Bank (AfDB) President, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, says that the Africa Investment Forum has mobilised $110 billion in investment interests to Africa since its inception in 2018.
Mr Adesina was speaking at the Official Opening of the Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2022 being held in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
The event, which opened on Wednesday will end on Friday.
The AfDB president said the forum was an avenue to mobilise investments for and showcase Africa.
“Four years ago, we began a journey together, the AfDB, the Africa Import-Export Bank, the Trade and Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the Development Bank of South Africa, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and Africa 50—when we established the Africa Investment Forum.
“The Africa Investment Forum is delivering amazing investments for Africa.
“In four years since the Forum commenced in 2018, it has helped to mobilise 110 billion dollars in investment interests to Africa.”
He urged investors to have confidence and invest in Africa.
He said Moody Analytics of defaults on infrastructure investments over 14 years showed that Africa had the lowest default rate on infrastructure projects globally.
“Moody Analytics of defaults on infrastructure investments over 14 years show that Africa has the lowest default rate on infrastructure projects in the world (5.5 per cent).
“Compared to Latin America (12.9 per cent), Asia (8.8 per cent), Eastern Europe (8.6 per cent), North America (7.6 per cent), and Western Europe (5.9 per cent)
“Africa is not as risky as you think. Perception is not the same as reality.
“The Africa Investment Forum will make investments to land in Africa. You have all it takes to succeed with your investments.”
Mr Adesina also said the investors were at the forum to seek opportunities for investments, to identify, and to invest in bankable projects in Africa.
According to the AfDB president, Africa beyond aid is an Africa driven by investments.
He spoke on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA), which he said was the largest free trade zone in the world connecting economies worth $3.3 trillion.
“So, Africa cannot be ignored. If you are not investing in Africa, think again!
“Africa is the investment frontier in the world – today and in the future. Invest in Africa today, benefit from its great future.
“At the Africa Investment Forum, we do deals, deals, and deals. And they are transformational deals,” he said.
Meanwhile, he said participants at the virtual Africa Investment Forum, held in March, secured $15.6 billion in investment interest for the construction of the Lagos-Abidjan Highway.
“The highway, which carries 75 per cent of trade in the West Africa region, will help unleash greater growth, trade, and investment across the region.”
Mr Adesina said the forum had outlined several investment ready projects for investors.
“These range from renewable energy hydropower, gas infrastructure, railways, road, and water transport. They include agriculture, health, mining, fertiliser manufacturing, port infrastructure, and urban green transport.
“They include sports, urban housing, and private equity feeder funds.”
Furthermore, he said Africa would account for more than one quarter of the world’s population by 2050 and would have the largest sources of renewable energy in the world.
“Africa has 65 per cent of the uncultivated arable land left to feed the world,” he said
The AfDB president also said the forum would support women businesses.
Presidents who attended were Alassane Ouattara of Côte d’Ivoire, Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana, Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe, and Patrice Talon of Benin.
Also in attendance were Jewel Howard Talyor, Vice President of Liberia and Philip Mpango, Vice President of Tanzania.
Furthermore, José Ulisses Correia e Silva, Prime Minister of Cabo Verde, and Patrick Achi, Prime Minister of Côte d’Ivoire were present at the ceremony.
Meanwhile, ministers representing Heads of State and Government included Niale Kaba, Minister of Planning and Development of the Côte d’Ivoire and Governor of the AfDB Group.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions were also in attendance.