07/20/2022 3:10 p.m
African Development Bank (AfDB) President Akinwumi Adesina said Wednesday in Marrakesh he was “extremely positive” about investment opportunities in Africa.
“According to the 2020 survey by the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, approximately 45% of limited partners expect profits in Africa to exceed those in emerging and developed markets over the next 10 years,” said Mr. Adesina under time to open the 14th edition of the US-Africa Business Summit, believing that now is the time for American investors to move quickly and invest massively in Africa.”
In this sense, he said that Africa offers a “very profitable” destination for investment, noting that investors pay a lot of attention to the continent and that the number of private equity funds in Africa has increased from only 12 in 1997 to 150 in 2020. .
There is always first-mover advantage, he said, and opportunities wait for no one, noting that United States foreign direct investment in Africa in 2020 was $47.5 billion, and that while significant, there is much room for expansion as US FDI in Africa accounts for only 5.2% of US global foreign direct investment.’
In addition, Mr. Adesina highlighted the importance of President Joe Biden’s “Building a Better World” agenda in helping to shift investment from the American private sector to Africa. “It is time to renew, re-engage and re-invest in Africa. It is important to base your investment decisions in Africa on facts, not fiction or perception. Perception is not reality,” he said. .
He also recalled that in 2020 Moody’s Analytics 10-year cumulative assessment of global infrastructure default rates by region found that infrastructure lending was less effective in Eastern Europe, Latin America and Oceania, with Africa being the region with the second lowest cumulative defaults. speed, after the Middle East, proves once again that infrastructure as an asset class in Africa is “reliable, safe and profitable”.
That’s why the AfDB has invested more than $44 billion in infrastructure in Africa over the past six years in energy, transport, digital infrastructure, water and sanitation. , he noted.
Turning to the issue of natural gas, Mr. Adesina assured that Africa is ready to be an alternative source of supply in the region to help ensure Europe’s energy supply after the Russo-Ukrainian war, which led to disruption of energy supply. “From Nigeria to Ghana, through Tanzania, Senegal, Morocco, Kenya, Algeria, Africa today has some of the world’s largest natural gas reserves,” he said.
And to claim: “Africa has some of the largest lithium deposits in the world, from the Democratic Republic of the Congo to Namibia, Zimbabwe and Mali, enough to make the continent competitive with China and Chile in this race. cars”.
He also hailed the huge opportunities available to the African continent in agriculture, with 65% of arable land remaining uncultivated to feed the world, noting that what Africa does with agriculture will undoubtedly determine the future of world food.
“If this is not enough to convince you to invest in Africa, let me try further. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) will be the largest free trade area in the world with a $3.3 trillion market, covering 54 countries and populations. 1.3 billion,” he said, highlighting huge opportunities for investment in renewable energy, including 10 TW solar, 350 GW hydroelectric, 150 GW wind and 15 GW geothermal.
And in conclusion: “Africa is ready. The United States is ready. Let’s turn conversations into commitments. Let’s turn liabilities into investments. Let’s build together!”
Under the High Patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, this summit, which runs until July 22nd in partnership with the Corporate Council on African Affairs (CCA), is attended by, among others, a large American government delegation. African ministers and decision-makers from the largest US multinationals and the African business community. Offering an opportunity to establish a forward-looking US-Morocco-Africa trilateral business partnership, this summit also presents an opportunity to consolidate the strategic positioning of Morocco, the only African country to have a free trade agreement with the United States, as a hub for Africa and a key economic partner for the US.
This conclave will be marked by the organization of high-level dialogues, plenary sessions, panels, round tables and additional events on the continent’s priorities in terms of food security, health, agriculture, energy transition, new technologies, infrastructure and integration. industrial ecosystems.