MON, MARCH 13 2017-Leading investors, business executives, entrepreneurs and policymakers in Africa gathered in London at the Dow Jones News Building on March 7, 2017, for The Wall Street Journal’s one-day “Investing in Africa” conference to discuss technology, infrastructure, policy development and the growing private-sector role in the transformation of the continent.
African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, was in the thick of the action, meeting several top investors and entrepreneurs, as well as greeting friends old and new from international capitals.
The evidence is that African investment is rising fast on the global financial agenda, as is the African Development Bank, which a majority of participants in an online poll agreed was likely to overtake the World Bank and the IMF in African investment deals within a decade.
President Adesina chaired a packed lunchtime session on Infrastructure Funding: Bridging the Gap, introducing and guiding a room of analysts, investors and entrepreneurs through the intricacies of infrastructure financing.
Adesina said there has never been a better time for Africa to attract capital investment for good bankable projects from sovereign funds, global pension plans and other available capital in the financial system.
No sooner had the session finished than President Adesina was being interviewed in open session by The Wall Street Journal’s Africa Business Correspondent, Matina Stevis, on the Bank’s vision for Africa.
Adesina summarized this with the Bank’s High 5s vision, supplemented by the targets of sufficient power generation, intelligent infrastructure, agro-aligned industrialization, balancing food trade, and vastly improved employment opportunities for Africa’s youth.
The President presented a robust view of how public and private sectors can work together even on the biggest deals, adding that reversing the infrastructure deficit is both a large and an urgent priority for African nations.