- The president of the African Development Bank Group, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, has assured U.S. investors that Africa is a stable, lucrative, competitive, and profitable market to invest in.
Adesina spoke in his speech at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco, where the speaker encouraged American investors to consider Africa as a viable investment location and to work with Africa in a win-win partnership.
He added that U.S. investments were critical to speed up infrastructure development across the continent. “This is the perfect moment to make an American investment in Africa and at a larger size,” Adesina said. “Tomorrow can’t be put off. Africa’s moment is now. Africa’s prospects are bright. We’re open to business and are welcoming you with wide arms.”
The U.S. Corporate Council on Africa has partnered with Morocco to host the summit under the title”Building Forward Together.’ The summit brought together global investors as well as corporate leaders. Global leaders and dignitaries were among those present. President Mokgweetsi Masisi from Botswana and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris addressed the attendees through a video message. Other important dignitaries included Morocco’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Nasser Bourita; the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation CEO Alice Albright; President of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises, Chakib Ali; and Ms. Nardos Bekele-Thomas, the chief executive officer of NEPAD, the African Union Development Agency NEPAD.
More than 400 government and business representatives discussed strengthening U.S. and Africa trade commercial, investment, and connections.
In an audio message broadcast on the Vice President’s website, Kamala Harris said: “We are focusing on the need to increase the production of food and exports to and from Africa.” In her message, she also said that private-public partnerships could play an important role.
Harris acknowledged the necessity of improving the U.S. relationship with countries across Africa. “President Biden and I are eager to welcome leaders from all over the African continent to Washington, DC from December 13th to 15th to attend the United States-Africa Leaders Summit,” she added.
Adesina mentioned several of Africa’s multi-billion-dollar investments as evidence of the potential of investment in Africa. He pointed to the Dangote Group’s 20 billion-dollar refinery for petroleum and fertilizer production complex in Nigeria and the MTN Group in South Africa. MTN Group currently operates in 19 countries.
The African Development Bank head said that despite the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 virus and its effects on countries’ economies, the number of private equity transactions in Africa rose from 230 in 2019 to 230 by 2020. 255 by 2020, highlighting that opportunities are still plentiful in Africa even in difficult times.
Adesina talked about the Africa Development Bank’s commitments to boost livelihoods and economics. The Group has committed more than $44 billion in infrastructure projects across Africa in the past six years, particularly in transportation, energy, water, and sanitation. However, he noted that Africa still faced an annual infrastructure financing deficit ranging from $68-$108 billion.
The U.S. Millennium Challenge Corporation’s Alice Albright said: “We are all here and committed to establishing more avenues towards prosperity throughout the African continent. Through Prosper Africa, which is the U.S. Government’s initiative to expand investment and trade and promote sustainable development across Africa, as well as our efforts together to strengthen collaborations to ensure that everyone on each side of the Atlantic can make a better living for the children of their parents, families and their communities, and reach their full potential.
Since the launch of Prosper Africa two years ago, the U.S. Government has supported 800 bilateral trade and investment agreements across 45 countries across Africa, estimated to cost $50 billion.
Adesina, The president of Nigeria, Adesina, has urged American companies to take advantage of the opportunities provided with the help of the ADB Group’s $1.5 billion African Emergency Food Production Facility, which was designed to reduce the effects of the global food crisis, exacerbated by Russia’s incursion into Ukraine. The facility, the only one in its class, will assist countries in purchasing and distributing agricultural fertilizer and seeds, assist during the four seasons of planting, increase food production by 30%, and produce 12 billion dollars worth of food.
In his inaugural speech, Moroccan Foreign Affairs Minister Bourita stated that at no time has the right time come to strengthen the collaboration among Africa as well as the United States than now. Bourita said: “It is time for Africa to realize the benefits of its potential, and playing a pivotal and natural part in the international arena, and participate in major developments that are taking place at a global and global level.”