The Global African Investment Summit, co-hosted by Rwanda and the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), can serve as an ideal opportunity to fund regional infrastructure projects as well as link up the continent through trade, experts have said.
The summit, slated for September 5 and 6, targets more than 1,000 delegates comprising heads of government, industry captains, and representatives of multilateral organisations.
By hosting the forum in Africa for the first time since its inception, organisers say they aimed to create a platform to link African investors to opportunities within the continent.
Amanda Basi, the programme director for the summit, told The New Times that as African countries move to improve their policies to attract investors, there is need to create a platform to showcase available opportunities.
“This starts with helping them package the opportunities in the right way to make it easy for investors to review and identify their areas of interest,” she said.
Basi said the forum would also provide an ideal opportunity for the region to showcase opportunities in regional infrastructure projects in need of funding.
The summit is also expected to provide an opportunity for projects and initiatives that have failed to attract investments and financing, such as startups in the ICT sector.
“Africa offers a tremendous opportunity and people coming here for the summit are aware of the opportunities that are available,” Basi said.
According to the 2016 Foreign Direct Investment report, foreign investment into African projects went up by 0.6 per cent in 2015.
The summit, which is focused on achieving such tangible outcomes will attract representatives from pension funds, asset management organisations, private equity and sovereign wealth funds, who have been termed as a key factor in the growth of investment.
Paul Sinclair, director of the Global African Investment Summit, said the forum seeks to go beyond the ‘Africa on the rise’ narrative by enabling the forging of relationships between investors, opportunities and the public sector.
“The summit seeks to move beyond the conventional ‘Africa on the rise’ narrative, create a business platform that provides delegates with tangible opportunities to establish relationships and engage with senior government representatives,” he said.
Among regional leaders expected to attend the summit include Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni, who called on investors to view Africa in a different light as it was steadily growing as a market.
In a pre-summit statement, Museveni said it was time for investors to consider the East African market as a preferred choice of investment destination given the profitable opportunities on offer.
The summit is an internationally recognised business platform that creates a unique meeting place for global investors and public and private sectors.
The last summit took place in London, UK, in December, last year, and attracted more than 1,500 investors who raised more than $425 billion in funds for emerging markets.
The forum features sessions for various sectors, roundtable discussions, exhibitions and bilateral meetings.
Applications for participation are done through the web site www.tgais.com and the exercise closes today.