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SGR grasps African investors’ attention

A STANDARD gauge railway (SGR) project that will link Rwanda, Burundi and DR Congo with the Dar es Salaam port is one among major projects that will feature in the Africa Investment Forum that begun in Johannesburg yesterday.

The President of African Development Bank, the organiser of the forum, Dr Akinwumi Adesina said the SGR project currently being undertaken by the Tanzania’s government using local resources would be on the table in the forum that has brought together global multilateral development and finance institutions and investors to tackle the continent’s infrastructure investment challenges and advance Africa’s economic transformation agenda.

The three-day Africa Investment Forum billed a game-changer to tilt capital flow into the continent has been organised by the African Development Bank and partners in Sandton Convention Centre to advance projects, raise capital and close financial deals.

Around 2000 delegates were expected to attend the innovative investment marketplace which has brought together heads of state, project sponsors, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, institutional investors in 60 boardroom sessions to move projects from commitment to action.

And the organisers of the forum are adamant that it will not be a talk shop but a unique platform to close financial deals for major projects that will boost economic growth and development in the continent.

Africa Investment Forum is not a talk show.

We deliver,” said Dr Adesina at the opening ceremony. “We promised (during the inaugural forum last year) and we delivered.

We’re changing the investment narrative of Africa.” “When we laid out our vision to tilt the flow of capital into Africa by convening the first transactionbased investment forum, many thought it would all amount to building castles in the air. One year down the road, the verdict is undisputed.Africa’s investment opportunities are proving to be seriously attractive.”

The inaugural forum powerfully demonstrated the Bank’s convening power and ability to rally key development institutions, global and regional investors around the common objective of fast-tracking Africa’s economic transformation.

About 40 million US dollars worth of investment deals were signed and financially closed in an inaugural event held last year here.

The African Development Bank expects 59 projects valued at $67 billion will be discussed with dealmakers at the forum, branded as an exclusive platform for investments in Africa.

The projects, which span 29 countries, range from regional infrastructure development to investments in energy, financial services, urban housing and small business support, AfDB President Akinwumi Adesina said in an earlier interview with the media in Johannesburg.

“The focus is really on the projects that are going to significantly transform the lives of Africans,” Adesina said.

The forum is part of the Abidjan-based lender’s efforts to narrow Africa’s infrastructure gap of as much as $170 billion a year.

Inadequate power, railways, ports and roads in Africa curb productivity by as much as 40 per cent and reduce per capita economic growth by about 2.2 percentage points, according to World Bank data.

THE Minister for Minerals, Doto Biteko has urged ...

Author: HENRY LYIMO in Johannesburg

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