The President of the African Development Bank President (AfDB), Dr Akinwumi Adesina, said that the Africa Investment Forum mobilised 110 billion dollars in investments for Africa between 2018 and 2022.
Adesina disclosed this on Wednesday at the opening ceremony of the three-day “Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2022″ holding in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
He said the forum meant to showcase the African continent and to mobilise investments for it.
“Four years ago, we began a journey together — the African Development Bank, 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 operations in 2018, it has helped to mobilise 110 billion dollars in investment interests to Africa,” Adesina said.
The AfDB president implored investors to develop the confidence to invest in Africa.
According to him, Moody Analytics of defaults in infrastructure investments over the past 14 years showed that globally, Africa had the lowest default rate in infrastructure projects.
“Moody Analytics of defaults on infrastructure investments over 14 years showed 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 and 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,” said the AfDB boss.
Adesina also said the investors were at the forum to seek opportunities for investment, to identify and invest in bankable projects on the continent.
The AfDB president said that “Africa Beyond Aid“ was an Africa driven by investments.
He spoke on the African Continental Free Trade Area which, he said, was the largest free trade zone in the world, connecting economies worth 3.3 trillion dollars.
“Africa cannot be ignored and 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 noted.
Meanwhile, Adesina disclosed that participants who took part in the Virtual Africa Investment Forum held in March secured 15.6 billion dollars in investment for the construction of the Lagos-Abidjan Highway.
“The highway, which carries 75 per cent of trade in the West African region, will help unleash greater growth, trade and investment across the region.”
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,” he said.
According to the AfDB president, Africa will account for over one quarter of the world’s population by 2050 and will 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.
African Presidents who attended the event 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 the Governor of the AfDB Group.
President of the ECOWAS Commission, Jean-Claude Kassi Brou, ambassadors and heads of diplomatic missions were also in attendance.