Leaders Lay out Africa’s Potential for Investment

African leaders laid out the continent’s vast potential and invited global investors to seize investment opportunities.

The 2022 Africa Investment Forum Market Days is taking place in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire’s economic capital, starting Wednesday.

The three-day forum has drawn project sponsors, investors, and heads of state from around the world to participate in boardroom sessions that could lead to transactions worth billions of dollars.

President of Cote d’Ivoire Alassane Ouattara expressed the hope that Market Days 2022 would break the $100 billion threshold in investment interest.

In the remark delivered by Vice President Tiemoko Meyliet Koné, the President acknowledged the wave of threats African countries continue to face, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Immediately following the challenges of the pandemic, African countries are once again facing external shocks because of the war in Ukraine, with heavy economic, financial and social consequences,” Ouattara said.

The current crisis makes us even more vulnerable to food insecurity, Ouattara said.

“This is paradoxical for a continent that has 60% of the world’s arable land and abundant and youthful manpower.”

African Development Bank Group President Dr. Akinwumi Adesina pointed out the existence of a gap between perception and reality in terms of Africa’s investment risk.

For Adesina, the perception gap is not borne out by data.

He pointed out that Moody’s Analytics research indicates Africa has the lowest default rate on infrastructure projects among the world’s regions – 5.5% – compared to 12.9% in Latin America, 8.8% in Asia, and 5.9% in Western Europe.

“Africa is not as risky as you think,” Adesina said. “Perception is not the same as reality.”

Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo said that Africa’s promising future should make it very hard to overlook its opportunities.

“There are problems but look beyond the challenges to what the future holds,’ Akufo-Addo urged.

He said the continent’s demographic dividend and abundant arable land as causes for optimism.

Africa Investment Forum Market Days 2022 will also feature boardroom sessions that also promote sectors where Africa has a comparative advantage, such as music, film, fashion, textiles, and sports, as well as emerging technologies including the internet of things and blockchain.

Since its inception in 2018, the Africa Investment Forum platform has mobilized investment interests in excess of $100 billion.

By ethionegari@gmail.com

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