AIF boardroom sessions attract $32.8bn in investment interest

By Nasi Hako Mar 22, 2022

The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) boardrooms have drawn $32.8 billion in investment interest in bankable projects.

Unveiling the results of the Forum’s virtual boardroom sessions, African Development Bank Group President Dr Akinwumi A. Adesina told the 500 project sponsors, investors, deal brokers and government representatives from around the world who took part in them: “In 72 hours, you all connected, you struck deals and you created success.”

The three-day virtual boardroom meetings showcased 40 projects across several sectors. Adesina said Africa was clearly back for investments as the COVID-19 pandemic gradually receded.

Describing the mood in the boardroom sessions, Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, said: “There were real and exciting deals that were transacted during this forum. We’re seeing a lot of interest from the private sector in various sectors, including power – particularly renewables, the ICT and telecom sector, and healthcare. We need to make sure we speed up the implementation of that so that success will generate more success.”

The outstanding results from the virtual boardrooms confirmed robust interest in a range of economic sectors that offer a high return on investment as well as a high social impact for Africans. Key sectors included transport, gas and energy, healthcare, agriculture, information and communication technology. Specific boardroom sessions focused on Africa’s creative industries and women-led businesses.

Energy projects drew a sizeable investment interest. A $232 million liquefied natural gas project in Guinea includes the construction of a large-scale LNG receiving terminal and distribution network to transport natural gas to end-users.

Following the unveiling of results, Adesina and the heads of the Africa Investment Forum partner organisations spoke about boardroom projects and Africa’s economic recovery.  

Admassu Tadesse, President Emeritus and Group Managing Director/CEO of the Trade and Development Bank, said: “The momentum has come back. The rebound has happened and of course, now we need to sustain it by ensuring that these key projects start to happen.” Tadesse cited a “green share” instrument that the Trade and Development Bank had worked on that will drive the climate finance agenda.

The largest investment opportunity in the boardroom sessions was the Lagos Abidjan highway corridor project valued at $15.6 billion and led by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Commission. Once completed, this public-private partnership project will link Abidjan to Lagos via Accra, Lomé and Cotonou along the West African coast.

The highway will reduce travel times by 50%. It will give landlocked countries access to ports and “make a meaningful impact on the lives of over 500 million people in West Africa,” Adesina said. “The African Development Bank Group has provided more than $40 million for feasibility studies to prepare the project for investment.”

The $50 million Makbel Dairy Farm drew interest from more than 20 prospective investors. The agriculture project in Angola has the potential to create over 2,000 direct and indirect jobs and transform Angola into a net exporter of milk products. Two prospective equity partners expressed interest in taking a combined 45% shareholding in the project......

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