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Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD7): PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will help double Africa’s rice production by 2030
August 29, 2019 | 0 Comments
“We must end hunger in Africa. Yes, we must! Hunger diminishes our humanity” – Adesina urges
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe African leaders at opening of TICAD7

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe African leaders at opening of TICAD7

YOKOHAMA, Japan, August 28, 2019/ — The Sasakawa Association will work with the Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), to help double rice production to 50 million tonnes by 2030.  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made the announcement at the Sasakawa Africa Association (SAA) symposium held on Wednesday during TICAD7.

“Japanese technology can play a key role in innovation which is key to agriculture,” Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told delegates.

Discussions at the Symposium focused on Africa’s youth bulge, unemployment rates, agricultural innovations and technologies, solutions and job creation opportunities in the agricultural sector.

“We’ve always believed in the agriculture potential of Africa,” said Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon foundation. “We are paying more attention to income-generating activities. We want to help shift the mindset of small-holder farmers from producing-to-eat to producing-to-sell. We are hopeful that Africa’s youth can take agriculture to a new era, and that they can see a career path in agriculture,” he added.

In a keynote address, African Development Bank Group President, Akinwumi Adesina, called for urgent and concerted efforts to “end hunger”.

“In spite of all the gains made in agriculture. We are not winning the global war against hunger. We must all arise collectively and end global hunger. To do that, we must end hunger in Africa. Hunger diminishes our humanity,” Adesina urged.

According to the FAO’s 2019 State of Food and Security, the number of hungry people globally stands at a disconcerting 821 million. Africa alone accounts for 31% of the global number of hungry people – 251 million people.

Commending the Sasakawa Association’s late founder, Ryochi Sasakawa, for his tireless efforts in tackling hunger, Adesina said: “Passion, dedication and commitment to the development of agriculture and the pursuit of food security in our world has been the hallmark of your work.”

Between 1986 and 2003, Sasakawa Association in Africa, operated in a total of 15 countries including – Ghana, Sudan, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Benin, Togo, Mali, Guinea, Zambia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and Mozambique.

Harnessing the potential of new technologies

Adesina expressed confidence in the ability of technology to deliver substantial benefits in agriculture. To accelerate Africa’s agricultural growth, the African Development Bank has launched the Technologies for African Agricultural Transformation (TAAT) to deliver new technologies to millions of farmers. ‘TAAT has become a game changer, and is already delivering impressive results, Adesina said.

Working with 30 private seed companies, the TAAT maize compact produced over 27,000 tons of seeds of water efficient maize that was planted by 1.6 million farmers.

Tackling climate change: a top priority

Hiroyuki Takahashi, founder of Pocket Marche, a platform that connects Japanese farmers and producers with consumers, shared insights and lessons learnt from Japan’s experiences, historic cycles of climate disasters and the country’s rebound.

“The power to choose what we eat is the power to stop the climate crisis and bring sustainable happiness to a world with limited resources,” Takahashi said.

It is estimated that Africa will heat up 1.5 times faster than the global average and require $7-15 billion a year for adaptation alone. Limiting the impacts of climate change is expected to become a top priority for Africa.

“Africa has been short changed by climate change. But, it should not be short changed by climate finance,” Adesina said in his concluding remarks.

“Let’s be better asset managers for nature. For while we must eat today, so must future generations coming after us. It is our collective responsibility to ensure that we do not leave empty plates on the table for generations to come,” Adesina concluded.

*AFDB

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“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results” – African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga
August 28, 2019 | 0 Comments
African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga

African Development Bank Vice-president Celestin Monga

Yokohama, Japan, 27 August 2019 – Kaizen, the business philosophy which means continuous improvement in Japanese, was at the heart of discussions at a seminar held on Tuesday, and co-organised by JICA and NEPAD on the sidelines of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7.

The seminar, under the theme: “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through innovation,” discussed the role of Kaizen, in improving quality and productivity as well as human resource development on the continent.

Panelists included Assane Mayaki, CEO of AUDA-NEPAD; Bezabih Gebereyes, Commissioner of the Civil Service Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia; and JICA Research Institute Director General Toshiyuki Nakamura, of the Industrial Policy and Public Policy Department.

“The Kaizen approach is more than a technique…it is an approach to economic development, and it’s been yielding tremendous results,” African Development Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, Dr. Celestin Monga, said.

Monga underlined the need for incremental innovation in each African country, but also called for increased support to small and medium sized enterprises as a starting point to scaled up industrialization.

Africa needs to create production lines because “ even with low-skilled labour we can do tremendous things,” he said.

JICA and NEPAD have been promoting incremental innovation through the Africa Kaizen Initiative, launched in 2017.

“Kaizen is about mindset changes. It will be a formidable tool to enhance productivity of SMES…We have rolled out projects and training programs in 10 countries,” Mayaki said in his welcome remarks.

Acknowledging two Africa Kaizen awardees, also in attendance, Makayi told the packed room “They are the exact product of how Kaizen should be implemented.”

Fikreselassie Ambaw, General Manager of MAA Garment Factory in Ethiopia and Ruben Zebedayo Lyanga, head of Atoz Textile Mills (Tanzania), who won the Africa Kaizen Award in 2019, made presentations on how the business approach radically transformed their enterprises and boosted productivity, employee commitment and creativity.

Sharing Kaizen’s contribution and achievements in Ethiopia, Gebreyes explained how Kaizen and the subsequently transformed mindset have led to increased efficiency in spare parts production lines. “In the sugar cane sector, the Kaizen model has led to a 43% hike in productivity,” he noted.

Answering questions on the capabilities needed for entrepreneurs and firms to promote radical, disruptive innovation in Africa, Toshiyuki Nakamura, Director General of Industrial Development and Public Policy Department said: “the common thread between GAFA, (Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon), is the implementation of Kaizen. Incremental and radical innovation, are one of the most important messages for the continent.”

Through JICA, the Kaizen approach has expanded its outreach to 25 countries on the continent; touched 18,096 enterprises and 301 public institutions.

The African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina is leading a high-level delegation to TICAD7 which is being held in Yokohama city from 28-30 August.

The Tokyo International Conference on African Development, led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders are scheduled to attend from around the world, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016.  The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

*AFDB

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African Development Bank President Adesina leads delegation to 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD
August 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
President Akinwumi Adesina

President Akinwumi Adesina

Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, 26 August 2019 – A high-level African Development Bank delegation, led by President Akinwumi Adesina, is set to join global leaders at the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development, TICAD7 from August 28-30.

TICAD7, hosted by Japan and co-organised by the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor on Africa (UN-OSSA), and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), aims at “promoting high-level policy dialogue between African leaders and development partners.”

President Adesina, is expected in Tokyo on Tuesday. Whilst in Japan, he will address the second plenary session of TICAD on the theme: “Accelerating Economic Transformation and Improving Business Environment Through Innovation and Private Sector Engagement”.

Several other engagements are also scheduled for Adesina and senior Bank management, including an International Finance Corporation/African Development Bank side event: “The Digital Africa 2020 and Japanese investment Panel: Creating markets to digitize Africa, and a side event co-hosted by the World Food Programme and the African Union Commission on “Strategic investments in Africa: Food security, human capital, sustainable agriculture, innovation and private sector partnership.”

The Bank’s senior management attending TICAD7 include, Dr. Celestin Monga, Bank’s Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management; Dr. Jennifer Blanke, Vice-President, Agriculture, Human and Social Development;  Ms. Bajabulile “Swazi” Tshabalala, Vice President for Finance and Chief Finance Officer; and Khaled Sherif, Vice-President, Regional Development, Integration and Business Delivery.

VP Monga will address a panel on “Africa’s Socio-economic Transformation through Innovation” while VP Sherif will be a speaker on another panel:“Building a Better World through Business – Challenges in Humanitarian Assistance in Africa and the Role of Private Sector,” held at Waseda University.

VP Blanke will take part in sessions on “Investing in Human Capital Development in Africa- A case for Education & Skills, Nutrition, Health and Jobs for Youth”, and an African Leaders for Nutrition event: Designing sustainable and resilient societies.

A major announcement is expected in support of the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance (EPSA) Initiative, an innovative, multi-component, multi-donor framework.

The initiative seeks to support development to meet the infrastructure needs of Africa, with a special focus on the private sector.

The 7thTokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), led by Japan, started in 1993. African heads of states and key business leaders from around the world are scheduled to attend, providing an opportunity to explore investment opportunities. The event, held every 3 years, has been convened alternately in Japan and Africa since 2016.  The last TICAD was held in Nairobi, Kenya.

 

 

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African Development Bank welcomes $20 million investment from the Clean Technology Fund for the Facility for Energy Inclusion
August 14, 2019 | 0 Comments
Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank

Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 14 August 2019 – The Clean Technology Fund (CTF) one of two multi-donor trust funds within the Climate Investment Funds (CIF)  on August 8, 2019 approved $20 million for the Facility for Energy Inclusion (FEI), a facility sponsored by the African Development Bank to  provide sustainable financing for small-scale renewables in Africa.

FEI is a $500 million financing platform whose objective is to catalyze financial support for innovative energy access solutions.  FEI On-grid, a targeted USD 400 million fund, supports improved energy access through the development of small-scale renewable energy generation and mini-grids across Africa, while the Off-Grid Energy Access Fund (OGEF), a targeted USD 100 million fund, supports off -grid energy distribution companies and boosts their long-term capacity to access capital markets at scale.

The CTF investment, composed of a $4 million junior equity tranche and a $16 million senior concessional loan,  will be drawn from the Dedicated Private Sector Program III, designed to provide risk-appropriate capital to finance high-impact, large-scale private sector projects in clean technologies.

Stressing the difficulty rural areas have in attracting investment for affordable and productive electricity, Anthony Nyong, Director of Climate Change and Green Growth at the African Development Bank said the funds would contribute to economic and social growth and enhance its recipients’ resilience to the effects of negative climate change.

“Access to affordable and reliable energy has huge benefits at various levels of any society. Most of the 600 million people estimated to lack access to modern energy services in Sub-Saharan Africa are also among the most vulnerable to the disastrous consequences of climate change,” he said.

FEI is expected to contribute to the installation of around 600MW of renewable energy projects across different African countries and avoid over 30 million tons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions over a period of 20 years while yielding positive gender and social outcomes.

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Gambia: ADB grant $3 million to support Banjul, Kanifing, Brikama municipalities
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank

The African Development Bank has extended a $3 million grant to The Gambia for sustainable urban development of the Greater Banjul Area. The grant came from the Bank’s Transition Support Facility (TSF).

A tripartite project signing ceremony between the Ministry of Finance, United Nations Office for Projects Services (UNOPS) and the African Development Bank took place on July 22, 2019 at the offices of the Ministry of Finance in Banjul.

The activities of the project will include capacity building and the formulation of a master plan for urban development using digital technologies which are intended to greatly improve the operational efficiency of the three municipalities (Banjul, Kanifing and Brikama), and also provide support to the Banjul port expansion.

The Greater Banjul Area: Sustainable Urban Development Programme 2020-40 will serve as a pilot with implications for the roll-out country-wide.

The United Nations Office for Projects Services in The Gambia is implementing the project and already carried out a stakeholder workshop in conjunction with the Bank on the June 17-18, 2019 at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul during which local stakeholders provided inputs to the master plan and the launch of the project.

Stakeholder consultations are still ongoing and more data is being captured to assure a successful development of an integrated and well informed greater Banjul area digital master plan.

 

 

 

 

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AU, African Development Bank sign $4.8 million grant earmarked for continental free trade secretariat
August 6, 2019 | 0 Comments

Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire, 06 July 19 – The African Development Bank Group on Monday signed a $4.8 million institutional support grant to the African Union (AU) for implementation   of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

The grant, approved by the Group’s Board of Directors on 01 April 2019, forms part of a series of interventions by the Bank in its lead role to accelerate implementation of the Free Trade Agreement, seen as a major force for integrating the 55-nation continent and transforming its economy.

Albert Muchanga, AU’s Commissioner for Trade and Industry, initialed for the continental body, and Obed Andoh Mensah, representing the Bank’s Director of the Industrial and Trade Development Department (PITD), signed on behalf of the Bank, signaling the startup of implementation.

African leaders meeting in Niamey, Niger in early July launched the implementation phase of the free trade area agreement established in March 2018 after it became operational at the end of May this year. Currently, 54 states have signed the deal and are set to begin formal trading next July.

“The AfCFTA is going to work and we are  confident that by the 1st of July next year, all the 55 countries would have been state parties – meaning, they would have signed and ratified the agreement and intra-African will start,” Muchanga said and urged countries to use this period to complete the parliamentary processes.

Muchanga commended the Bank’s strong and consistent support to ensure smooth implementation of the Agreement, saying the grant would be used judiciously for the rollout of various protocols relating to the structure and mandate of the AfCFTA secretariat.

The AU currently has an interim secretariat, tasked to provide the organizational structure for the permanent administrative body, its work program and related issues including its budget. The Niamey summit announced the siting of the AfCFTA secretariat in Accra, Ghana.

The Continental Free Trade deal has the potential to create the largest free-trade area in the world.  – uniting 55 African countries with a combined gross domestic product of more than $2.5 trillion. It is a major force for continental integration and expansion of intra African trade, currently estimated at around 16%.

The trade agreement is expected to expand intra-African trade by up to $35 billion per year, ease movement of goods, services and people across the continent’s borders and cut imports by $10 billion, while boosting agriculture and industrial exports by 7% and 5% respectively.

In his remarks, Andoh Mensah stressed that the deal will help stabilize African countries, allow small and medium sized enterprises to flourish, promote industrialization and lift millions out of poverty.

“If the AfCFTA is complemented by trade facilitation reforms, reduction in non-tariff barriers, improved infrastructure and policy measures to encourage employment and private sector investments, it will stimulate poverty reduction and socio-economic development across Africa,” he said, noting that the goals of AfCFTA are aligned to the Bank’s flagship High 5s.

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African Union Commission calls for further financial input for the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, July 5, 2019/ — The 29th Oversight Committee (OC) meeting of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund held at the headquarters of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, has ended with calls for increased investments to accelerate the closure of Africa’s infrastructure gap.

The meeting, held on 28 June 2019, was hosted by the AUC and chaired by KfW Development Bank (Germany). Topics discussed included the NEPAD-IPPF Independent Review report, the introduction of reimbursable grants as part of the new business model, the mid-year progress report, updates on continental infrastructure initiatives, and adoption of a proposed joint AUC/AUDA/AfDB Domestic Resource Mobilization Strategy.

Michael Andres, the Oversight Committee Chairman, commended the achievements of NEPAD-IPPF and noted that more resources are required given the increasing demands being made on the fund.

“The NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund must continue to focus on key priorities, such as PIDA Projects to support the African 2063 Agenda.” Andres said.

While speaking on the Fund’s progress in the first semester of 2019, African Development Bank Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development Amadou Oumarou urged participants to consider the continent’s enormous infrastructure needs.

“New contributions from Spain (Euro 3 million) and the African Development Bank (UA 3 million) are indications of confidence in the Fund’s ability to successfully fulfil its mandate, and also recognition that the NEPAD-IPPF is playing a critical role in infrastructure development in Africa. It is therefore expedient for (the Fund) to be further strengthened with the necessary resources to enable it to meet its objectives and mandate,” Oumarou said.

The meeting convened over 30 participants including donors providing financial support to the NEPAD-IPPF Special Fund, representatives from the African Development Bank, the African Union Commission, the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD), Regional Economic Communities (RECs), River Basin organizations and regional corridors authorities.

For AUC Director for Infrastructure and Energy, Cheikh Bedda, “The Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA), and Africa’s infrastructure priorities cannot be implemented without adequate resources committed to the NEPAD-IPPF, a critical instrument to prepare high quality bankable regional infrastructure projects across Africa”.

Providing updates on the Fund’s operational performance NEPAD-IPPF Fund Manager Mike Salawou, stated that cumulative contributions by donor partners including the African Development Bank amounted to $102 million, out of which $96.1 million had been committed to approve 91 projects. As at June 2019, 60 studies have been completed, 9 cancelled and 22 are on-going, he noted.

The African Development Bank approved in June 2019 the allocation of UA 3 million from its 2018 Net Income to NEPAD-IPPF. In addition, the Spanish Government announced a new contribution of EUR 3 million to NEPAD-IPPF in May 2019.

Among the studies completed by the Facility, 30 have so far reached financial close and attracted financing of $24.2 billion for physical implementation of power plants, bridges, ports, roads, hydropower schemes, and ICT projects. Of these successful projects, 17 have been constructed, 11 are under construction and two are yet to commence.

“While disbursements of committed funds on supported projects have reached a record, beyond that and without any new contributions to the Fund, NEPAD-IPPF will not be in position to support additional project preparation activities, therefore, there is a need for urgent replenishment of the Special Fund,”  Salawou stressed.

About the African Development Bank Group:
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) (www.AfDB.org) is Africa’s premier development finance institution. It comprises three distinct entities: the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Development Fund (ADF) and the Nigeria Trust Fund (NTF). On the ground in 44 African countries with an external office in Japan, the AfDB contributes to the economic development and the social progress of its 54 regional member states. For more information: j.mp/AfDB_Media

About NEPAD-IPPF:
The New Partnership for Africa’s Development Infrastructure Project Preparation Facility (NEPAD-IPPF) Special Fund, hosted by the African Development Bank, is a leading project preparation facility in Africa, which plays a catalytic role in mobilizing resources for preparation of regional projects and programs such as the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa. It’s a multi-donor Fund established in 2005 to assist African countries, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Infrastructure related institutions for: (i) preparing high quality and viable regional/continental infrastructure projects with a view to requesting financing from public and private sources; (ii) developing a consensus and partnership for project implementation; and (iii) promoting infrastructure projects and programs aimed at enhancing regional integration. The Fund supports projects in transport, energy, ICT, and water sectors. The special fund is currently supported by the Bank as host institution, Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, Norway, Denmark, and Spain. Participation in the special fund is open to donors, institutional funds and other special infrastructure funds.

*AFDB

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AU Summit: President Adesina to lead African Development Bank’s delegation, Continental Free Trade Area talks to top summit agenda
July 5, 2019 | 0 Comments
The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee
Adesina

Adesina

ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast, July 5, 2019/ — African Development Bank Group (www.AfDB.org) President Akinwumi Adesina will next week lead a delegation of top Bank officials to the extraordinary summit of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) in Niger’s capital, Niamey.

High on the agenda of the July 7-8 summit are discussions on the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). President Adesina will meet African leaders to review the continent’s development issues, and hold talks on the effective implementation of the AfCFTA.

As a member of the continental Task Force, the Bank will participate in several executive discussions, including the deliberations of the 8th meeting of African Trade Ministers, as well as a meeting of the 37th Steering Committee of Heads of Commerce.

The Bank will also participate in the meetings of the 37th NEPAD Heads of state and Government Orientation Committee, as well as in the 1st mid-year coordination meeting of the AU and Regional Economic Communities.

President Adesina will share the Bank’s vision on empowering African women, and on the AFAWA (Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa) initiative.

On the sidelines, there will be discussions between the Bank and major African private sector representatives on the AU’s 2063 vision of an integrated, inclusive and prosperous continent.

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African Development Bank to establish Central African headquarters in Cameroon
July 4, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

Akinwumi Adesina, African Development Bank president

The African Development Bank, AfDB will in the days ahead establish its central headquarters in Cameroon’s capital, Yaounde.

This is the substance of an agreement signed this morning at the Ministry of external relations between the government of Cameroon and the African Development Bank.

Signing in for Cameroon was the Minister of external relations Lejeune Mbella Mbella and the Vice President of the African Development Bank, Khaled Sherif signed on behalf of the banking institution.

According to Khaled Sherif, Cameroon was chosen in the central African Sub region as site for the implantation of the ADB regional headquarters because it suits the established criteria, one of which include hospitality.

“The government of Cameroon freely gave us a piece of land and we intend to work here over the long run” Khaled said at the end of the signing ceremony.

 

“The new regional office for development, integration and service delivery in Central Africa, like those established in Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western Africa, aims to bring the Bank closer to its Member States,” a release from the AfDB reads.

 

The signature of this headquarters agreement, which comes almost two months after the approval by the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank, of the Regional Integration Strategy Document for Central Africa (DSIR), approving the Bank’s operations in this region over the 2019-2025 period, will strengthen the institution’s dialogue and support for the process of economic integration in Central Africa.

 

With some 44 active regional projects in the continent, amounting to nearly 632 billion CFA francs, or 1.1 billion US dollars, the AfDB seeks to spur sustainable economic development and social progress in its regional member countries thus contributing to poverty reduction.

 

This new regional office will help improve the efficiency of the Bank’s operations and deepen the dialogue between the Bank and all Central African countries.

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Africa Investment Forum 2018: a new bold vision tilts capital flows into Africa
November 15, 2018 | 0 Comments
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Adesina shares vision to transform Africa through investment not aid
November 12, 2018 | 0 Comments

President Cyril Ramaphosa officially opened the inaugural edition of the Africa Investment Forum on Thursday saying Africa was not only on the rise but Africa is on the move, referring to the continent as a destination for investments.

The Africa Investment Forum is an unprecedented gathering of pension funds, Sovereign wealth funds, capital markets, project sponsors, institutional and financial investors seeking to invest in Africa.

Describing Africa as the “next global frontier for investment,” Ramaphosa said: “May the deals be concluded. May we all be part of the deals that are going to be made here.”

Four African Heads of State –  President Alpha Conde of the Republic of Guinea; President Macky Sall of Senegal;  President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Sahle-Work Zewde of Ethiopia, made the trip to South Africa for the Forum. Other officials included the Vice President of Nigeria; the Prime Ministers of Rwanda, Edouard Ngirente and Cameroon, Philémon Yang, as well as ministers representing the Kingdom of Morocco, Cote d’Ivoire, Tanzania, Niger, and Gabon. In attendance also were Governors and Board members of the African Development Bank.

In his opening remarks, Adesina lauded the “impressive gathering” of stakeholders, indicating that their “presence here shows you care about Africa, and that you have confidence to take up more investments in Africa.”

Giving an overview of existing opportunities in the power and agriculture sectors, President Adesina said: “we always asked what’s the next China after China? Well, appropriately, China figured it out. It’s Africa.”

He acknowledged that Africa has massive infrastructure deficits, from ports to railways, roads, energy, and information and communication technology infrastructure needed to spur its competitiveness in global markets. The African development bank estimates the continent has a financing gap of $68-108 billion per year for infrastructure.

Adesina said, “But it’s all about how you see it: a glass half empty or a glass half full. Let’s see the challenges as a glass half full. That means Africa has an investment opportunity of $68-108 billion a year for infrastructure alone.”

“Which continent will have consumer and business expenditures that reach $5.6 trillion in just 7 short years,” he added. “Don’t think far: think Africa!”

The power sector alone provides a US$30 billion annual investment opportunity, tapping into Africa’s vast resources of gas, solar, hydro, wind and geothermal. Huge investment opportunities abound to make Africa the leading region on renewable energy in the world.

The African Development Bank is spearheading the development of the Desert to Power to develop 10,000 MW of solar across the entire Sahel region. This will become the largest solar zone in the world.

At the Africa Investment Forum, 306 project transactions valued at US$208.8 billion have been developed.  Over the next three days, 60 projects and deals worth US$40.4 billion will be discussed in Boardroom sessions by investors and promoters to fast track closure of deals or to remove policy and regulatory constraints to deal closure. An additional US$28 billion of projects will be showcased in “gallery walks” which have yet to move to boardroom investment conversations.

Over 330 investors will be in the Boardroom investment conversations and  “I must say the demand by investors has been overwhelming, so much so that 92% of the investments Boardrooms have been oversubscribed.That’s remarkable for a first inaugural investment forum,” Adesina said.

The Africa Investment Forum is seeking to help reduce intermediation costs, improve the quality of project information and documentation, and increase active and productive engagements between African governments and the private sector.
The Forum will feature projects from various sectors such as energy, infrastructure, transport and utilities, industry, agriculture, ICT and Telecoms, water and sanitation, funds and financial services, health, education, hospitality and tourism, housing, and aviation.

*AFDB

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Africa agribusiness, a US$1 trillion business by 2030
November 9, 2018 | 0 Comments
Agribusiness will become the ‘new oil” on the continent, African Investment Forum participants said
JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, November 9, 2018/ — As project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors gathered at the Africa Investment Forum  to make deals on investment opportunities, leaders of the continent’s  top agribusiness companies shared their thoughts on the future of the industry. With its vast agricultural potential, Africa’s agribusiness sector is predicted to reach US$1 trillion by 2030. Agribusiness will become the ‘new oil” on the continent, African Investment Forum participants said, fueling the motor of inclusive growth.

“Agriculture is a key priority for the African Development Bank, through our Feed Africa strategy,” said Jennifer Blanke, the African Development Bank Vice President for Agriculture, Human and Social Development.  “Understand that by transforming Africa’s agriculture sector it will become the engine that drives Africa’s economic transformation through increased income, better jobs higher on the value chain, improved nutrition, and so on,” she said in her opening remarks at an Africa Investment Forum session titled, Agribusiness: investment conversation with industry leaders.

Some agribusiness leaders said there is a need to invest US$45 billion per year to harness the power of agriculture and move up the value chain to create jobs and wealth. At present, only US$7 billion is invested in the sector. Investments from the private sector, leaders said, will create the adequate environment and enhance the emergence of locally owned agro-processing industries, capable of creating jobs and increasing incomes in rural Africa. The continent could become a net exporter of agricultural commodities, replacing US$110 billion worth of imports, as well as doubling its share of market value for select processed commodities.

The full-capacity session was a highlight of the Africa Investment Forum, organised by the African Development Bank. The event brought representatives from multilateral financial institutions, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, government officials and private investors to Johannesburg, South Africa for three days.

Participants in the agribusiness session discussed the industry’s entire value chain. Leading the ‘fireside chat’ was a roundtable of experts that included Aliko Dangote, President and CEO of the Dangote Group; Zainab Shamsuna Ahmed, Minister of Finance of Nigeria; William Asiko, CEO, Grow Africa; John George Coumantaros, Chairman, Flour Mills of Nigeria and TP Nchocho, CEO, Land and Agricultural Bank of South Africa

“We need to do the research to produce the right solutions to the issues we might face along the value chain. Youth are particularly involved in this aspect as they know how to develop tools addressing issues such as water management and release”, said Aliko Dangote.

Agribusiness can also promote industrialisation and urban employment, break the ‘productivity gap’ of development, and improve the quality of life for all Africans. Attendees said Africa’s agricultural potential needs to be unlocked.

Session participants said they want to bring African agriculture to the next level. For the small and medium scale farmers, the main challenge remains access to finance. Zainab Shamsuna, Nigeria’s Minister of Finance urged investors and development partners to adapt their policies to accommodate more participants in the agriculture value chain,

“I want us to eat what we grow and consume what we produce”, Shamsuna said.

In closing the session, Edward Mabaya, Manager of Agribusiness Development at the African Development Bank highlighted the vast investment opportunities in Africa’s agribusiness including seed, fertilizer, mechanization, processing and storage.

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