By Chris Bishop
The Africa Investment Forum declared it had secured $40.1
billion in investment – an increase on last year – after days of talking and
intense boardroom negotiations at the Sandton Convention Centre in
Hundreds of delegates from scores of countries around the
world got together in South Africa, the continent’s most industrialised
country, to try to attract billions from foreign investors to boost business
and fill a huge infrastructure gap. Organisers and delegates joked that it was
like : “speed dating on steroids”.
“We are winning because you are here, we are winning because
you have invested…we are winning together,” said Akinwumi Adesina, the head of
the African Development Bank and the proponent of the investment forum.
Fifty six deals worth $67.6 billion made it to the boardroom
discussions at the forum, a 44% increase on last year, of those, 52 made it to
approval. The deals , from 25 countries, secured investor interest worth $40.1
billion – an increase on the $37.1 billion garnered last year in the first
At the closing ceremony many of the scores of delegates
shared their experience of three days of talk of investment in Africa. Most
agreed the talks had been rigorous and disciplined.
“Risk is real,” said one delegate.
Ïf you are not in Africa you are not in business,” says
The investment secured four projects in Nigeria, Africa’s
biggest economy, including a 500 MW power plant.