Strategy AfDB wants to close Africa’s infrastructure gap with a $170 billion investment

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The African lender launched Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg on Tuesday

AfDB wants to close Africa’s infrastructure gap with a $170 billion investment play

Akinwunmi Adesina, AfDB President speaking at the launch of Africa Investment Forum in Gauteng Province, South Africa, Tuesday, May 8, 2018

(Twitter/Gauteng Province)

The African Development Bank (AfDB) has launched an initiative called the Africa Investment Forum to raise $130 to $170 billion. The fund will be targeted at closing the continent’s infrastructure gap in order to make it a place where young people can thrive.

The African lender launched the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, May 8, 2018.

Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president, during the launching of the forum, said Africa should not develop by begging, rather, it should be a place for business and investment.

During his speech, he emphasised that the forum wants to make “Africa a place where its young people can thrive.”

He added that "Africa's natural resources are badly managed and this happens partly as a result of poor negotiations and bad contracts.

“The African Investment Forum will provide a much-needed global platform that will help catalyse private-sector investments in Africa, by bringing in developers, strategic investors, venture capital funds, pension funds, global sovereign wealth funds, and insurance companies.

Dr Adesina added that “Africa urgently needs to industrialize. To make this happen, we need investments in infrastructure. At the African Development Bank, we are talking about using aid to massively leverage private capital to fund Africa’s development. Africa is not a poor continent. It has vast amounts of resources whose potential simply has to be unlocked. We intend for this to be an investment marketplace to do transactions with impact.”

Nhlanhla Nene, South Africa’s Minister of Finance, while speaking at a meeting with the bank delegation on Monday, said: “The Africa Investment Forum is indeed Africa’s investment marketplace. We have no doubt that it will have the desired development impact. South Africa is not only a gateway for investments on the continent but also a leading African investor. We thank you for allowing South Africa to host the inaugural event.”

“As Africa's industrial hub, we have invested over 30 billion US dollars in different regions in the country and across Africa.”

About the African Investment Forum

The forum is an open platform to organise efforts among multilateral institutions, governments and the private sector to improve the pipeline of projects that can transform the continent.

The AfDB is working with several global partners and stakeholders to make the African Investment Forum the springboard for African economic transformation.

According to AfDB, financing Africa’s Sustainable Development Goals will require an estimated US $600-700 billion per annum. Of this, approximately US $130-170 billion a year in infrastructure investment will be needed, to keep pace with demographic shifts, consumer demand, and economic development.

Last month, the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank, (EIB), agreed to support the creation of the new Development Bank of Nigeria with $70 million to strengthen lending for business and agriculture investment in the country.