Invest in Africa, AfDB Chief Urges Investors at U.S.- Africa Business Summit

The President of the African Development Bank Group (AfDB) Akinwumi Adesina has given strong assurance to U.S. investors that Africa is a secure, competitive and profitable market for investment.

Adesina was speaking on Wednesday at the U.S.-Africa Business Summit in Marrakech where he told American investors to see Africa as a logical investment destination and to engage with the continent in win-win partnerships.

“This is an opportune time for American investments in Africa, at scale,” Adesina said. “Tomorrow cannot wait. Africa’s time is now. Africa’s future is bright. We are open for business, and we welcome you with wide open arms.”

The U.S. Corporate Council on Africa partnered with Morocco to organize the summit under the theme, ‘Building Forward Together.’

The event brought together More than 400 business, government representatives and officials including President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris addressed delegates via a video message, stating “We are focused on the urgent need to increase food production and exports with and within Africa.”

She said public-private partnerships could play a key role in this regard. Harris also recognized the critical importance of strengthening the U.S. relationship with countries across Africa.

Adesina listed some of Africa’s multi-billion private investments as proof of the continent’s investment potential. He cited the Dangote Group’s $20 billion petroleum refinery and fertilizer production complex in Nigeria, and South Africa’s MTN Group, which currently operates in 19 markets.

The AfFB head said that despite the disruptions of the Covid-19 pandemic and its impact on economies, the number of private equity deals in Africa increased from 230 in 2019 to 255 by 2020, stressing that even in turbulent times, opportunities still abound in Africa.