Johannesburg – South Africa president Cyril Ramaphosa opened the 2019 Africa Investment Forum with positive results on the 2018 investment deals, ENN reports. This year, the Forum is hoping to deliver again on the promise to redefine and unpack the continent’s investment opportunities. Eight heads of state attended the opening ceremony of Africa’s biggest investment forum, including President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique and President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana.

With regional integration at the core of Africa’s economic agenda to  unlock the continent’s  full potential, investment opportunities for the railway line linking Tanzania, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo look set to headline this year’s Africa Investment Forum, ENN reports.

“The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential,” President Ramaphosa said in his address, as he advised investors to move beyond pledges. “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.

The Africa Investment Forum is a multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals. It is a brainchild of the African Development Bank (AFDB), with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South Africa, the Islamic Development Bank, the Africa Finance Corporation and the European Investment Bank as its founding partners.

In his opening remarks at the 2019 Africa Investment Forum, AFDB president Akinwumi A. Adesina said Africa is on the right path but still needs to do a lot more to attract more investments. “Economic growth rates are encouraging. This year, 37 countries in Africa experienced growth rates of 3 per cent and above. And guess what? Six of the ten fastest growing regions of the world are in Africa”, he said. “Commodity prices are recovering. Foreign direct investments in Africa increased in 2018 by 11 per cent, compared to 4 per cent in Asia, and a decline of 13 per cent, globally”, Akinmwumi Adesina further said.

The inaugural Africa Investment Forum was held last year and attracted investment interests for deals valued at US$38.7 billion within 72 hours. The Africa Development Bank president informed delegates at this year’s showcase that equity has been closed on some of the proposed 2018 deals, including the following:

  • The $500 million Africa Infrastructure Investment Fund to speed up investments in agriculture
  • The $175 million Africa Guarantee Fund to support Small and Medium Size Enterprises.
  • The $350 million South Africa  beef agro-processing project
  • The $72 million Alithea Identity Fund, a private equity fund specifically targeting women businesses
  • Mara Phones, which was launched at the 2018 Africa Investment Forum has now set up manufacturing plants in South Africa and Rwanda
  • The railway project launched by Thelo DB to support Africa which is advancing,
  •  Ghana’s $600 million transaction for COCOBOD, to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa

The Africa Investment Forum presents a collaborative and innovative growth opportunity for Africa through its support for infrastructure development, industrialisation and value addition.