By Abdi Ali
Published March 8, 2018
Africa shall hold a three-day continental meeting aimed at bridging a US$170 Billion infrastructure investment gap in November 2018.
Organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) and to be held November 7-9, 2018 in South Africa’s commercial capital, Johannesburg, AfDB says the African Investment Forum (AIF) shall seek to bridge the investment gap, ensure inclusive growth, create employment for the continent’s population, catalyse investments into projects and attract social impact financing to Africa.
Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB, says Africa’s development finance institution and “its partners intend to showcase bankable projects, attract financing, and provide platforms for investing across Africa.”
He says there shall be no speeches at AIF that shall bring together AfDB and “other global multilateral financial institutions to de-risk investments at scale.”
The only speeches at AIF, Adesina says, will be transactions.
With Africa expected to have more than 840 million youth by 2050, the issue of employment is crucial.
This could be what prompted Abderahmane Raouia, Algeria’s Finance Minister, to observe, during a two-day meeting for AfDB’s East and North African Governors in Abidjan, Ivory Coast in March 2018, “The biggest challenge for Africa today is job creation. It is a stake of stability and a lever to pull economic growth upwards. We must offer job opportunities for young people to convince them to stay here on the continent.”
AfDB, whose budget in 2018 is US$15 Billion, says it hopes to finance its planned infrastructure and regional integration projects. Some 50.3 million people are expected to benefit from improved access to transport in the 2018-2020 period compared to 14 million in 2017, AfDB says. Additionally, more than 35 million people are expected to benefit from new or improved electricity connections, in contrast to 4.4 million delivered in 2017.