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December 8, 2021
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Africa Investment Forum 2021: High Hope for FDI



THE Africa Investment Forum’s Market Days 2021, an initiative of the African Development Bank (AfDB), is poised to attract billions of dollars in investment for strategic development projects across the continent.

The annual forum has come to be an invaluable platform for attracting critical investment in the continent’s infrastructure, agriculture, and healthcare system needs among others – especially as Africa seeks to rebound from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The growing success of the forum makes the encouragement of the bank’s president, Akinwumi Adesina, credible, who has said Africa must be respected as the world’s investment frontier.

The third edition of the Africa Investment Forum Market Days will take place in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, in a hybrid format from 1 to 3 December.

Pent up investment demand is anticipated.

The 2021 edition will take place against the backdrop of the lingering pandemic, as well as recently concluded climate talks at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow.

Both have highlighted the urgent need to exploit Africa’s challenges as investment opportunities.

Additionally, there is growing consensus that the private sector will be indispensable in providing the scale and speed needed to urgently address bottlenecks across many sectors.

Market Days 2021 will feature the forum’s unique boardroom sessions, where project developers and investors will review projects, including those in the healthcare, energy and climate, agribusiness, and the information and communication sectors.

The AfDB’s Africa Investment Forum team has previewed several likely boardroom deals in investor roundtables held virtually in September, October, and November.

Market Days 2021 will showcase these investments.

One is a potential investment in the construction of a US$45 million World Health Organisation-prequalified vaccine production plant in East Africa.

The plant will be able to routinely produce three types of vaccine, including one for Covid-19.

Another deal, in the agribusiness sector, entails the scaling up of a dairy milk production and packaging company in southern Africa.

The project’s sponsors have secured an off-take agreement with a major international food and beverage company for milk production.

The deal, valued at US$50,2 million, has strategic value for the host government in terms of job creation and skills development.

Boardroom sessions, where deals move toward closure, will also feature projects that are women-led, and which represent Africa’s creative industries.

Over the three-day event, there will also be sessions on how to mobilise institutional finance, the role of disruptive innovations such as fintech and cryptocurrencies, and the value of women as investment champions.

Market Days 2021 will revisit the achievements and highlights from the second edition, held in Johannesburg in 2019.

Some 57 deals worth roughly US$68 billion were discussed at the time, including a strategic liquefied natural gas development project in Mozambique, which represents Africa’s largest single foreign direct investment.

The forum’s closing day will reveal boardroom results from Market Days 2021.

The Africa Investment Forum Deal tracker monitors the progress of investor commitments made during the forum, establishing a path towards closure.

The AfDB launched the Africa Investment Forum in 2018 with seven other founding partners, namely the 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.

The Africa Investment Forum has 118 deals in the pipeline from all eight founding members, with an investment value of over US$110 billion.

– African Development Bank News

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