The African Development Bank (ADB) and the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) announced on Monday the launching of the Africa Investment Forum 2019, which will be held in Johannesburg in November.
Egypt's Minister of Investment and International Cooperation Sahar Nasr said that the forum is a chance to showcase investment opportunities in Africa, as it connects investment decision makers in the continent, providing all the required data on investment opportunities, including the required funds for investments.
"The ADB and Afreximbank are key partners in Egypt's development plans, as they have provided funds and supported several projects that develop the Egyptian economy, especially in energy, agriculture, water resource management, telecommunications, information technology and SME funding. They also provide the same support in other African countries," Nasr said.
The minister added that Africa has significant potential which requires a boost, especially since the continent is one of the fastest growing in the world, with a GDP growth of 3.4 percent in 2018, while the intra-trade volume has increased by 17 percent in 2018 to record $159 billion.
According to Nasr, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) flows to Africa rose to $46 billion in 2018, up from $41 billion in 2017, an annual growth rate of 11 percent. FDI is projected to hit $52 billion in 2019 according to a forecast by UNECTAD, which also said that Egypt is the biggest receiver of investments in the continent.
"Egypt's investment opportunities in the forum are in line with the country's political leadership's directives and development plans in the sectors of renewable energy, transportation and infrastructure. The Ministry of Investment and International Cooperation welcomes all proposals introduced in the forum to boost the investment climate all over the continent," Nasr said.
Meanwhile, country manager at the ADB Malinne Bloomberg asserted that the bank is a key sponsor of the forum and a key financer of the national mega-projects in Egypt.
"One of our essential goals is to create more job opportunities for youth and women, which is a main demand in Egypt and in all African countries, especially with the booming population," Bloomberg added.
In the same vein, Afreximbank official Ibrahim Sagna said that Africa has witnessed significant venture and commercial cooperation over the past two years, but there are a lot of investment opportunities that are still untapped due to the lack of funds and the poor business environment and infrastructure in African countries.
"The business environment and infrastructure in Egypt are ready to receive more investments and to cope with any challenges. The forum aims to attract more investments to Egypt and to inform Egyptian investors about opportunities in 53 African countries," said Sagna, who also praised the Egyptian government's efforts to support the forum and attract investments to Africa.