The president of the African Development Bank was in Johannesburg Tuesday to launch the Africa Investment Forum, calling for an aggressive approach to investment through a new African investment marketplace.
“If Africa is to achieve a genuine, equitable, and sustainable economic transformation, it cannot be business as usual,” said Akinwumi Adesina, head of the Abidjan-based AfDB. “It must be business unusual.”
The Africa Investment Forum will provide an open platform, designed to organize efforts matching viable projects with the capital needed to close a gap estimated to be up to USD$1.2 trillion per year in infrastructure and other development.
“These are huge numbers, which with growing populations can only become larger,” Adesina said, citing population projections that put the continent at 2 billion people by 2050. “The fact is, there is no individual benefactor, nor government, sovereign wealth fund, or multilateral development bank, can provide the resources to meet Africa’s critical economic development needs.”
It’s a tall order, he conceded. “ But the money is certainly there and available globally. By 2020, there will be close to $111 trillion assets under management globally that are invested around the world often at very low interest rates,” he added. “Our task is to leverage a significant share of these savings into African economic development.”
The Africa Investment Forum will connect the AfDB and its partners for the selection of projects and investors, and facilitation of investment transactions. Johannesburg will host the first of the forum gatherings from November 7-9.