Increased and decisive investment will be the channel for Africa’s economic recovery post Covid-19, partners of the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) said last week, expressing confidence in the continent’s potential to rebound from the ongoing health and economic crises.
“Africa will come out of this pandemic, tough as it is, and will build better and stronger economies. As partners of the AIF, the premier investment platform for Africa, our gaze must be clear; help Africa reboot its economy,” said African Development Bank (AfDB) president Dr Akinwumi Adesina during a two-day virtual meeting for AIF founding, institutional and knowledge partners.
In a virtual marketplace that mirrored typical sessions of its yearly Market-Days, the AIF convened over 190 participants including current and prospective partners, investors and project sponsors.
The forum showcased its Unified Covid-19 Response and provided an update on its activities, as well as opportunities for new partners and investors to engage with the platform.
During the meeting, the AIF revealed 15 projects identified across five sectors for priority funding consideration under the Unified Covid-19 Response.
The sectors include agriculture and agroprocessing, energy, health, information and communications technology and telecoms, and industrial and trade.
Collectively, these 15 deals, which are from the forum’s current portfolio, amount to $3.79-billion and are slated to help increase the continent’s self-sufficiency and resilience against future shocks.
Four project sponsors were invited to pitch their deals to more than 100 investors present at the meeting.
These include a dairy processing project in Angola, a vaccine manufacturing plant in Kenya, a cotton manufacturing project in Mozambique and a proprietary telemedicine platform in Nigeria.
Following the meeting, the AIF's deal tracker mechanism was immediately deployed to capture investment interest and ensure effective investor-project matchmaking.
The meeting took place as the AIF continues to build on the successes of its first two years in bringing to market deals with transformative potential for Africa’s development, the forum said.
“The AIF is not a talk shop. What we are trying to do is to focus our partners' efforts on the platform’s bankable deals from the 2018 and 2019 portfolio, as well as some new ones this year.
"We are concentrating not just on the health sector, but also on other sectors that will help jumpstart recovery across the continent,” said AIF senior director and head Chinelo Anohu, adding that deals “more responsive” to the pandemic are being curated to provide much-needed support to the private sector.
The AIF said it also continues to support project sponsors through its Deal Tracker mechanism, which monitors the conversion of investment interests to financing commitments and facilitates the progress of deals towards financial close.
So far, the forum has facilitated the closure of eight deals valued at $2.18-billion from the 2018 portfolio.
The AIF, championed by the AfDB and its founding and institutional partners, is working to accelerate the closure of the continent’s investment gaps.
The AIF founding partners are the AfDB, Africa 50, the Africa Finance Corporation, the African Export-Import Bank; the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Trade and Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.
Institutional partners include development finance institutions, multilateral development banks, commercial banks and institutional investors.