Investec Bank

As the Africa Investment Forum kicks off in Johannesburg today, the organisers have assured that this year’s edition will be short on talk and heavy on deals.

Organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB), the South African government and key partners, the second edition of the Forum, will take place from place from 11 to13 November 2019.

The multi-stakeholder transactional marketplace is aimed at raising capital, advancing projects to bankable stage and accelerating financial closure of deals.

The AfDB noted that investors recognise the opportunities in the energy sector, yet multiple barriers stand in the way of transformational private sector participation – including non-creditworthy utilities, the absence of cost-reflective tariffs, and capacity constraints throughout the energy sector value chain.

Unlocking private sector capital, therefore, must be accompanied by resolving policy and regulatory issues, and other systemic bottlenecks, in order to create the right conditions for energy investments from outside and within Africa.

The impetus to mobilise and scale up private investment into the energy sector is what makes the Africa Investment Forum such a critical platform for the continent’s energy future.

“By leveraging the bank’s convening power to facilitate public-private dialogue, we will move closer to our goal of universal energy access, primarily through reforms and financial instruments to de-risk transactions, enhance bankability, and fast-track project closure,” stated Wale Shonibare, the bank’s acting Vice-President, Power, Energy, Climate Change & Green Growth.

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Key focus areas at the forum

During various boardroom sessions, Shonibare said his team will focus on a range of projects, including the Inga Dam in the DRC, the Baynes hydro plant in Angola and Namibia, and the Tulu Moye geothermal development in Ethiopia.

“Last year we achieved remarkable results with over $36 billion of investments interests that were signed or were being closed. We are hoping that this year it is going to be even better,” said Vuyelwa Vumendlini, Deputy Director General of the National Treasury of South Africa.

Sharing similar sentiments, Mduduzi Mbapa, senior advisor to the Premier of Gauteng noted that the biggest take away from last year’s edition was the need for greater interconnection on the continent. “In fact, many have been writing about Africa rising. Through this Forum, we are making sure that our continent does rise and it contributes to the growth of the world,” he said.

Shonibare further revealed that the AfDB will also continue discussions on the roll-out of the Bank’s transformative Desert to Power Initiative following its endorsement at the G5 Sahel Heads of State Summit on 13 September in Burkina Faso.

“We will also engage further on mobilising climate finance through the Africa Financial Alliance for Climate Change in order to shift portfolios of African financial institutions towards climate-friendly projects across the continent,” stated Shonibare.