Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB), on Wednesday said the role of leadership at all levels was crucial in attaining the investment potentials of Africa.
He said leaders, as chief executive officers of their countries, must take charge of the developmental deliverables in partnership with the private sector. Dr Adesina said this at the inaugural programme to kick-start the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 7 – 9, to accelerate the Continent’s investment opportunities.
In attendance was President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other political heads, project sponsors, borrowers, lenders and investors. The AIF is a transactional platform dedicated to advancing projects to bankable stages, raising capital and accelerating the financial closure of deals.
Dr Adesina said the AfDB, through AIF and its partners, would accelerate private sector investments in Africa through a combination of project preparedness and development, policy environment, project bankability and investment promotion.
“We have to discuss investment and not aid. We need to work together. We will not deliver investments in a bumpy manner but in low and smooth manner,” he said.Professor Benedict Oramah, the President of the Africa Export-Import Bank, said the AIF was visionary in rebranding and recalibrating Africa to the world as a destination for business.
He said with the investment and infrastructural portfolio of 300 billion dollars, 800 billion-dollar pension fund and still rising, and stock of reverses worth 500 billion dollars, Africa could afford deficits in infrastructure with ease.
He said there was the need to focus on intra-African trade capable of driving the needed investment, adding; “The choices we make at the forum now has the potential to catapult the Continent into economic stardom.”
Dr Bandar Hajjar, the President of Islamic Development Bank, said the Bank’s commitment had risen to 48 billion dollars covering 3,000 projects in Africa from the initial seven billion in 1976 when the Bank was set-up.
He said 21 billion dollars was spent on trade and investment in Africa, another 450 million dollars to promote Information and Communication Technology through the private sector and six billion dollars accrued through foreign investment.
Mr Mallam Samaila Zubairu, the CEO of Africa Finance Corporation, said the first step for grandeur investment opportunities for Africa was the AIF platform as the Continent could boast of capital and decision-makers to develop bankable products to fund projects on large scale.
Mr Patrick Dlamini, the CEO of the Development Bank of South Africa, said: “Things happen not automatically but from conscious leadership position. Planning delivers results.”
By Maxwell Awumah, GNA Correspondent, Johannesburg, South Africa