More than $68 billion in investment projects are under discussion at the Second Africa Investment Forum, which opened in Johannesburg on Monday, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of the Africa Development Bank, has said.
Speaking at the opening press conference of the forum, Dr Adesina said deals covering sectors such as energy, agribusiness, ICT, housing, telecoms and health were under consideration.
He reiterated the African Development Bank's commitment to equitable distribution of investment, saying the bank was not scared about investment in any country, especially the fragile and low income Sahelian countries.
The bank's role, he said, was to ensure that investment went to every country irrespective of the status and the level of economic development, adding that the bank was at the forefront of pooling resources both capital and finance for all countries.
In this direction, the African Development Bank is working with partners for a 10,000 megawatts solar project for the countries in the Sahelian region.
The bank has also doubled its commitment to climate change to 25 billion dollars with half of the funds going for climate adaptation rather than mitigation.
Dr Adesina said the AfDB emphasis was to ensure that Africa lead the world on renewable energy.
Earlier at the opening ceremony attended by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa; President Nana Akufo Addo of Ghana; President Paul Kagame of Rwanda; and Prime Minister Agostinho do Rosario of Mozambique, President Ramaphosa said the time was now for the continent to move forward.
"The time is now to move with speed to ensure that we unlock our potential...Indeed our continent is ripe for investments, but more importantly, it is also brimming with enormous profitable opportunities," President Ramaphosa said in his address, as he urged investors to move beyond pledges.
The Africa Investment Forum is an innovative, multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace conceived by the African Development Bank, aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to the bankable stage, and accelerating financial closure of deals.
"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 inaugural Africa Investment Forum secured investment interests for deals valued at $38.7 billion in less than 72 hours. "A lot of progress has been made on these investment interests," with a highly dedicated team of partners working around the clock to accelerate financial closure for transactions," African Development Bank President Akinwuni Adesina said.
Another transaction tabled last year – a $600 million transaction for COCOBOD to help improve processing and value addition for cocoa - has also reached financial close, and will be signed during this edition of the Forum.
Similarly, South Africa's $350 beef agroprocessing project has reached financial close.
"Promise made, promise kept," said Dr Adesina.
"It is a new, more confident Africa. A continent now aware of its place in the world and determined to be a global investment haven. And Africa is harnessing investors' interests and investments. Welcome to the Africa Investment Forum, the place to be for investors," he said.
The Africa Investment Forum inaugural edition was launched in 2018 in partnership with Africa50, Afrexim Bank, the Trade Development Bank, the Development Bank of South