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Closing Remarks by Dr. Akinwumi A. Adesina, President, African Development Bank Group - Japan-Africa Business Forum - Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) - August 29, 2019


Today has been a great day. We started with the Business Forum. It was clear that Prime Minister Abe is deeply committed to a new TICAD: one that puts the private sector at the heart of its partnership with Africa.

You have heard the voices of the Presidents and Heads of State from Africa, you have heard them say, without any ambiguity that Africa is open for business. 

As I said in the morning, Africa is not rising – Africa has already risen. Let’s put on new lenses to see Africa: see Africa for what it is: an incredible investment frontier. 

Think about this for a moment. Even though global Foreign Direct Investments fell from $1.5 trillion in 2017 to $1.3 trillion in 2018, Foreign Direct Investments flows into Africa, actually rose from $41.8 billion to $46 billion over the same period, representing an impressive 11% growth.

Africa needs more investments. 

To give comfort to investors, the African Development Bank is deploying de-risking instruments including a Partial Risk Guarantees and Partial Credit Guarantees to leverage financing and cover private lenders/investors.  For example, bank guarantee instruments helped unlock €585 million in financing for the Lake Turkana Wind Power project in Kenya – the largest in Africa.

Our game-changing venture, the annual Africa Investment Forum, which kicked off in South Africa last year, is a deliberate transaction-oriented deal-making Forum through which the African Development Bank – along with its partners – are structuring and advancing deals to bankability, raising capital, and accelerating the financial closure of transactions and deals. 

At the inaugural event in 2018, $38.7 billion of investment interests was secured. I sincerely urge you to stay engaged with us as we build toward our 2019 Forum to be held this November 11-13 in Johannesburg – a gathering which will only serve to accelerate the momentum created from the inaugural event.

For a multitude of reasons, we are bullish on investments in Africa. This is our backyard and we know it well. We see encouraging signs from our mighty cities to our tiniest villages – Africa is the next great investment frontier. And as the old explorers’ like to say, frontiers are where you find gems.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave us a charge to work together to take advantage of the great and many opportunities before us.

The past few days have convinced me that we are ready for greater Japanese business investments in Africa.

Africa awaits you. It’s vast business and economic opportunities awaits you. It is clear that the time for foot dragging or procrastination is past. 

A new dawn has arrived.   

So, let us walk together to fully seize the opportunities and forge a brighter future together for Japan and Africa.

Let’s do it! Thank you very much

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