By Maxwell Awumah, GNA Correspondent, Johannesburg, South Africa .
South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, says the transactional marketplace offered by the Africa Investment Forum (AIF) demonstrates the continent’s readiness for serious business.
He said it symbolised superior power of thinking and eagerness to succeed.
He was speaking at a Presidential Gala Dinner, held to welcome President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and other leaders attending the Forum.
They included Egyptian President Sahle-Work Zewde, Vice President of Nigeria Yemi Osinbajo, and Prime Minister of Cameroon Philemon Yang.
Also there were government officials and heads of financial institutions.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB), through the Forum, was driving private sector investments in the continent – a combination of project preparedness, pipeline development, policy environment, project bankability and investment promotion.
The AIF is expected to provide the platform for focused investment opportunity sessions through boardroom discussions, bi-lateral meetings, and workshops, leveraging on global investors and policy-makers.
President Ramaphosa said major development finance institutions, projects sponsors, and other investors integrated in accelerating Africa’s prosperity were making use of space allotted for business to advantage.
Africa was the destination, as the World Bank research showed that six out of the 10 fastest growing economies globally were in the continent, he added.
“If we unlock capital flow, back it up with good policies and regulations, strengthen finance, improve good governance and stem corruption, we would promote political consistency to levels that the continent deserves.”
He expressed optimism that the deliberations would be apt, result-oriented, and remove bottlenecks that hindered the continent’s collective progress.
He encouraged both international and domestic institutions and investors to seek to find better ways of doing business for a strong Africa, driven by the interest of its citizens.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of the AfDB, said African governments, businesses, and investors were showing much confidence in carrying their development destiny into their hands, and that the platform was providing the latitude.
Mr David Makhura, Premier of Gauteng – the economic hub of South Africa – said investor confidence in Africa was about the future of the continent, where “we are ready to transition from poverty to prosperity and from aid to investments.”