Serrari Group

The Africa Investment Forum’s 2023 Market Days culminated in an unprecedented achievement, attracting an impressive $34.82 billion in investment interest for vital sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, health, and the creative industries. The three-day global event, themed “Unlocking African Value Chains,” concluded on Friday in the vibrant Moroccan city of Marrakech, bringing together over 1,000 delegates from more than 60 countries.

Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank Group and Chairperson of the Africa Investment Forum, expressed the forum’s commitment to building a robust investment powerhouse that will bring transformative impacts to the lives of people. He emphasized, “That is the bottom line of the Africa Investment Forum: investing to improve lives.”

The Africa Investment Forum, a multi-stakeholder platform facilitating continental dealmaking and project facilitation, has achieved a cumulative investment interest of nearly $180 billion since its inception in 2018. The 2023 Market Days covered a wide range of sectors, including the Mtwara-Mbamba Bay standard Gauge railway line in Tanzania and the Mangapwani II Integrated Port in Zanzibar, as well as deals in agri-business, renewable energy, creative industries, and healthcare.

Younes Sekkouri, Morocco’s Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment, and Skills, emphasized the critical importance of South-South partnerships and the financing of infrastructure. He stated, “The Africa Investment Forum has been a turning point to explore these opportunities, discuss challenges and solutions and strengthen the partnerships necessary to realize our aspirations.”

The Forum showcased key side events, including regional transport corridors, a roundtable with a Japanese business delegation, and a Mayor’s Forum on leveraging cities and municipalities for growth and development. The launch event of the Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones saw commitments of $3 billion from the African Development Bank, the Africa Export-Import Bank, and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization.

Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation, representing the President of the Islamic Development Bank, pledged $300 million for Africa’s agro-industrial growth. The Africa Investment Forum also signed a Letter of Intent with Morocco’s sovereign wealth fund, the Mohammed VI Investment Fund, supporting the private sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises and infrastructure in Morocco.

Reflecting on the Forum’s success, various leaders, including Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank, Boitumelo Mosako, CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, and Samaila Zubairu, President and CEO of Africa Finance Corporation, highlighted the positive outcomes and the essential role of strategic partnerships in unlocking Africa’s vast potential.

Alain Ebobissé, CEO of Africa50, commended the dedication of the founding partners in initiating projects that tap into Africa’s rich potential across diverse sectors. The Africa Investment Forum, launched in 2018, continues to leverage collective resources to bridge the continent’s infrastructure investment gap. Founding partners include the African Development Bank Group, Africa50, Afreximbank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, and the Trade and Development Bank.

Photo (ADB)

By Delino Gayweh
Serrari Financial Analyst
November 14, 2023

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