The Africa Investment Forum's 2023 Market Days generated $34.82 billion in investment interest for infrastructure, agriculture, health, and creative industry projects. The three-day global event, with the theme “Unlocking African Value Chains,” ended on Friday in the Moroccan city of Marrakech, the event drew over 1,000 delegates from more than 60 countries.
“We are building a formidable powerhouse around investments in Africa, that will deliver transformative impacts on the lives of people. That is the bottom line of the Africa Investment Forum: investing to improve lives,” said African Development Bank Group President, and Chairperson of the Africa Investment Forum, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina.
Among delegates were several African heads of state and government, including President Azali Assoumani of Comoros and current chair of the African Union, President Samia Suluhu Hassan of Tanzania, President Julius Maada Bio of Sierra Leone, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Eduoard Ngirente. Also in attendance was the Prime Minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley.
The Africa Investment Forum is a multi-stakeholder platform focused on continental dealmaking and project facilitation between project sponsors, policymakers and investors. With this edition, the Forum has attracted nearly $180 billion in investment interest since it was launched in 2018.
Morocco’s Minister of Economic Inclusion, Small Business, Employment and Skills Younes Sekkouri, said the Forum underlined the critical importance of South-South partnerships and the crucial issue of financing infrastructure.
“Africa is at the forefront of international attention as one of the most dynamic and promising markets in the world…The Africa Investment Forum has been a turning point to explore these opportunities, discuss challenges and solutions and strengthen the partnerships necessary to realise our aspirations,” Sekkouri said.
Deals covered several sectors including the Mtwara-Mbamba Bay standard Gauge railway line in Tanzania, and the Mangapwani II Integrated Port in Zanzibar. There were also deals in agri-business, renewable energy, creative industries and healthcare.
Adesina thanked Moroccan King Mohammed VI who placed the event under his high patronage.
“Morocco is the right choice. We have been treated to incredible hospitality. The decision of the Africa Investment Forum founding partners to hold the 2023 Market Days in Marrakech two months after September’s devastating earthquake, and the support and resilience of the Kingdom and government of Morocco is highly commendable.”
The Africa Investment Forum showcased several key side events including regional transport corridors, a roundtable with a Japanese business delegation, and a Mayor’s Forum on leveraging cities and municipalities to unleash growth and development. The Mayoral event included mayors and governors from Lagos, Nairobi, Addis Ababa, Abidjan and ministerial representation from Rwanda.
At the launch event of the Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, the African Development Bank, the Africa Export-Import Bank, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, committed $3 billion to the alliance.
Founding partners commend Market Days
The Chief Executive Officer of the Islamic Trade Finance Corporation Eng. Hani Salem Sonbol, representing the President of the Islamic Development Bank Dr. Muhammed Sulaiman Al Jasser, said Africa was a land of boundless possibilities and a dynamic engine of growth.
“As a founding partner of the Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones, IsDB committed $300 million to fuel Africa's agro-industrial growth. We are ready to partner with investors, businesses, and development partners to unlock the full potential of the continent," he said.
Trade and Development Bank Group President Emeritus and Group Managing Director Admassu Tadesse said, “As a founding partner, we as TDB Group are pleased to see the Africa Investment Forum continuing to attract diverse financiers and institutional investors for greater engagements on investments and co-financing opportunities."
Commenting on the boardroom results, European Investment Bank Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle, said, “A strong, innovative and resilient private sector is essential for the growth of Africa’s economies. We are happy to see how the creativity and vision of African innovators is making an impact, particularly in the area of technology.”
Commenting on the Africa Investment Forum’s success, the CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, Boitumelo Mosako, said: “It has been a positive outcome to see the engagement with several partners on a number of transactions. Our boardroom meetings had significant interest and we look forward to receiving commitments thereafter.”
Africa Finance Corporation President and CEO Samaila Zubairu said Africa's rich and diverse value chains serve as the backbone of the African continent's vast potential. “Our commitment to add value across the economic spectrum is unwavering as we urgently strive to foster jobs for our youth through innovation and growth. Collaboration through strategic partnerships like the Africa Investment Forum is key to unlocking these value chains for a brighter and more sustainable future."
Alain Ebobissé, Africa50 CEO, said, “Once again, this year, the Africa Investment Forum has been a testament to the founding partners’ dedication to initiating projects that tap into Africa's rich potential across diverse sectors.”
The African Development Bank also signed a Letter of Intent with Morocco’s sovereign wealth fund, the Mohammed VI Investment Fund, to support the private sector, especially small and medium-sized enterprises and infrastructure in Morocco.
The Africa Investment Forum was launched in 2018 to leverage the collective resources of its co-founders and reduce the continent’s infrastructure investment gap.
The Africa Investment Forum founding partners are the African Development Bank Group, Africa50, Afreximbank, the Africa Finance Corporation, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the European Investment Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the Trade and Development Bank.