*‘2015 – a turning point for Africa and Foreign Direct Investment. 8 of Africa’s Ministers of Energy and Finance gather in Beijing to outline current investment opportunities’
09 September 2015, Sweetcrude/APO, Beijing, China — 2015 marks a turning point for African investment. The need to address the continent’s energy deficit, and the critical requirement to connect those living without access to electricity, is undisputed – 13% of the world’s population live without electricity, versus 48% of the global population who live in Africa.
This year Africa will have witnessed 19 elections, and the formation of many new governments. Many of these administrations will seek to improve living conditions through access to electricity, and subsequently, added employment opportunities. Despite the headwinds caused by lower oil and commodity prices, and weakening currencies across sub-Saharan Africa, progress continues to be made. Nigeria witnessed the most notable investment deal in recent weeks, with Africa’s largest privately held business – Dangote – signing a $4.34 billion deal with China’s Sinoma, an indication of Nigeria’s infrastructural ambition. In the same period, another of the world’s fastest-growing economies, Kenya, has earmarked $55.6 billion for infrastructure development. Kenya’s road network urgently needs improvement – essential for trade and tourism, indispensable lines of inward investment.
Global investor demand for African opportunities were displayed this month when one of the world’s largest private-equity funds – The Abraaj Group – announced it had raised $1.4 billion, indicating the dawn of billion-dollar African private-equity funds searching for greater returns than offered by alternative, saturated markets. Of 119 African investor deals, there has only been one default in the past decade.
However, of all interested parties looking to invest in Africa this year, there has been one nation consistently seeking to improve infrastructure and power development on the continent – China. As of 2011, China’s investment in Africa was 4.3% of its global trade (Asia represented 60.9%, Latin America 16% and Europe 11.1%). By 2009, 45.7% of China’s cumulative foreign aid of $256.29 billion had been dispensed to Africa.
The growth of China-Africa trade is revolutionising African development, stimulating crucial upgrades of the continent’s infrastructure and power development – highlighted in June when Tanzania awarded a consortium of Chinese railway companies projects valued at $9billion.
EnergyNet are delighted to announce the 4th Annual Africa Infrastructure and Power Forum (http://www.africa-infrastructure-forum.com), taking place in Beijing, China 15-16th October 2015. This important meeting once again partners with the China Africa Development Fund, who will be seeking new projects to receive some of the $5billion under their management.
Standard Bank, Africa’s largest bank, will be joining the meeting this year as forum sponsor. David Humphrey, Head of Infrastructure and Power, Standard Bank, recently commented that “the conference brings together some of the foremost figures in infrastructure, as well as key policymakers from Africa. Continued and increasing investment in infrastructure is crucial to the development of African nations, and Standard Bank is well placed to play a leading role in connecting investors with opportunities across the continent. We are delighted to be sponsoring the conference for the second year in a row, and we look forward to seeing our customers and stakeholders in Beijing.”
At the Forum there will be 11+ project presentations featuring major opportunities, including:
• The East to West Landbridge – LAPSSET Corridor
• East African Standard Gauge Railways
• Dry port development in Ghana
• Unbundling of state utilities in Liberia
• Gas-to-Power investment opportunities in Mozambique and South Africa.
The following high-level speakers are also expected to make presentations at the forum:
1. H.E Hon, Henry Rotich, Cabinet Secretary for the Treasury, Kenya
2. H.E. Hon. Matadi Atadi Nenga Gamanda, Minister of Energy and Water Resources, DR Congo
3. H.E. Hon Christopher Yaluma, Minister of Energy, Zambia
4. H.E. Hon Henry Macauley, Minister of Energy, Sierra Leone
5. H.E. Hon James Musoni, Minister of Infrastructure, Rwanda
6. H.E. Hon Obeth Kandjoze, Minister of Energy and Mines, Namibia
7. H.E. Hon Aston Kajara, Minister of Finance in charge of Privatisation, Uganda
8. Honourable Maria Kiwanuka, Senior Advisor to the President, Uganda
9. Silas Zimu, Presidential Special Advisor on Energy, South Africa
10.Chairman Mingqiang Bi, Chairman of the Board of ICBC Standard Bank PLC
11.Madam Shen Min, Deputy General Manager, Special Financing Department, ICBC Bank