By Ogova Ondego
Published September 10, 2015
Africa’s Ministers for Finance and Energy are set to attend an international meeting for investors in infrastructure-development in the Chinese capital, Beijing.
Among those slated to attend the 4th Annual Africa Infrastructure and Power Forum (AIPF) scheduled for October 15-16, 2015 are ministers from Kenya, Congo-Kinshasa, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and South Africa.
That Africa is an investment hotbed not just open to China but to the whole world is attested to by the signing a US$4.34 billion deal between the Nigeria-based Dangote that is billed as Africaâ€™s largest privately held business with Chinaâ€™s Sinoma for development of infrastructure while Kenya, that is said to be one of the world’s fastest-growing economies, has earmarked US$55.6 billion for developing crucial infrastructure such as roads.
“The growth of China-Africa trade is revolutionising African development, stimulating crucial upgrades of the continentâ€™s infrastructure and power development – highlighted in June 2015 when Tanzania awarded a consortium of Chinese railway companies projects valued at US$9 billion,” EnergyNet, the organisers of AIPF, say.
EnergyNet say their partner, China Africa Development Fund, “will be seeking new projects to receive some of the US$5 billion under their management.”
While “45.7% of Chinaâ€™s cumulative foreign aid of $256.29 billion had been dispensed to Africa” by 2009 according to a media release issued through the African Press Organisation of Switzerland, EnergyNet say “Chinaâ€™s investment in Africa was 4.3% of its global trade (Asia represented 60.9%, Latin America 16% and Europe 11.1%)” three years later in 2011.
Among the project presentations at the 4th AIPF that are likely to generate interest among investors include eastern Africa’s Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia (LAPSSET) Corridor that shall link Lamu on Kenya’s Indian Ocean coast to South Sudan’s Juba and Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa that will eventually connect eastern and western Africa via land; and East African Standard Gauge Railways that is aimed at connecting Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda and South Sudan.
Also of interest shall be western and southern Africa’s Dry port development in Ghana, Un-bundling of state utilities in Liberia, and Gas-to-Power investment opportunities in Mozambique and South Africa.
It is therefore not surprising that among the high-level speakers in Beijing shall be Kenya’s Finance Minister Henry Rotich, Congo-Kinshasa’s Energy Minister Matadi Atadi Nenga Gamanda, Zambia’s Energy Minister Christopher Yaluma, Sierra Leone’s Energy Minister Henry Macauley, Rwanda’s Infrastructure Minister James Musoni, Namibia’s Energy and Mines Minister Obeth Kandjoze, Uganda’s Finance Minister Aston Kajara and South Africa’s Presidential Special Advisor on Energy Silas Zimu.