Durban, May 5, 2017: Africa investor (Ai), the international investment and communications group, and Africa50, the pan-African infrastructure fund, in partnership with the African Development Bank, co-hosted the third Ai CEO Infrastructure Project Developers Summit on May 3 in Durban, South Africa. Ameenah Gurib-Fakim, President of Mauritius, and Macky Sall, President of Senegal, were the keynote speakers, eloquently explaining the challenges and opportunities for infrastructure development in their countries.
Entitled, Establishing Project Development as an Asset Class, the Summit brought together over 200 CEO-level project developers, financiers, and officials from development finance institutions to discuss facilitating infrastructure project development in Africa. The consensus among the speakers was that there is no shortage of capital available for viable, “bankable” projects, but that there are still too few. To build up the pipeline of projects, both governments and developers must to do their part. Governments must assure leadership, transparency, stable institutions, and a positive business and regulatory environment. Developers must find qualified local partners, use appropriate risk mitigation, leverage development finance institutions, and do in-depth due diligence on all phases of project development.
For the first time, the event was preceded by the Africa Pension and Sovereign Wealth Fund Leaders’ Summit, which brought together top US and African pension and sovereign wealth fund managers to explore how they could invest in African project development. These funds hold trillions of dollars in capital which could be invested into infrastructure projects in Africa, if offered returns commensurate with the perceived higher risks.
Commenting on the discussions, Hubert Danso, CEO and Vice Chairman of Africa investor, said, “Ai pioneered this African project developer platform over three years ago, bringing together the African project development and early-stage finance community to explore development and investment partnerships. We are pleased with the outcome of this year’s event, especially the fruitful discussions between project developers and institutional investors, who control a vast pool of additional finance for infrastructure in Africa.”
Alain Ebobisse, CEO of Africa50 added, “There is substantial regional and global interest in African infrastructure today, but early stage project development needs to be enhanced. Our event brought together all the key players to find solutions. I was impressed with their realism and pragmatism, built up over decades of investing in Africa. The participation of two Presidents and several Vice Presidents from the AfDB and IFC further enhanced the discussions, and I am confident that the partnerships formed over the two days will lead to concrete results on the ground.”
Aside from the African Development Bank, the Summit is supported by IFC InfraVentures, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), the Long Term Infrastructure Investors Association (LTIIA), the Global Listed Infrastructure Organisation (GLIO), the European Investment Bank (EIB), the International Project Finance Association (IPFA), the Berne Union, the ICA Project Preparation Facilities Network, Global Infrastructure Basel, the African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA), Frost & Sullivan, the South African Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors (SAFCEC), the association of Consulting Engineers of South Africa (CESA), and Quadrant PR.
About Africa investor (Ai) – www.africainvestor.com
Africa investor is a specialist investment and communications firm advising governments, international organisations and businesses on infrastructure investments and strategies for capital market and foreign direct investments in Africa. Africa investor publishes Africa investor, the leading international news stand magazine for Africa’s investment decision makers; maintains the Africa investor 40 Investors’ Index, runs an awards franchise of annual Ai CEO Institutional Investor Summits and events and hosts the Ai African Infrastructure Project Developers Forum.
About the Ai African Project Developers Forum – www.aidevelopersforum.com
Launched at the Ai Infrastructure Project Developers Summit, the Ai African Project Developers Forum is a pan-African network of over 200 infrastructure project developers and early-stage financiers that share and publish thought leadership, promote best practices, discuss co-development opportunities, and seek to improve the business environment for project developers and financiers in Africa.
About Africa50 – www.africa50.com
Africa50 is an infrastructure fund owned by African governments, the African Development Bank, and institutional investors. Its mission is to mobilize long term savings from within and outside Africa and private sector funding to promote infrastructure development in Africa.
Africa Investor, Renee Montez, COO: +27 11 783 2431; firstname.lastname@example.org
Africa50, Oliver Griffith, Communications Advisor: +33 6 24 10 29 24; o.griffith@Africa50.com