Close to 80% of the investment ready deals that were being negotiated in the boardrooms of the Africa investment Forum have been signed.
At the beginning of the inaugural forum 61 projects with a value of $40.4-billion were set to be discussed in closed boardroom discussions between investors, governments and promoters. On Friday, the last day of the conference, 45 of those deals worth R32-billion had been closed.
Giving his closing address, Akinwumi Adesina, the president of the African Development Bank (AfDB), which is hosting the forum said this was “incredible” for a first-time event.
Around 350 investors from 53 countries from across the globe were in attendance with 30 of these representing African countries. The rest were from outside the continent including representatives from United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, France, United States, China, Japan and Switzerland.
Of the agreed upon deals, $6.8-billion in investment will be coming to South Africa.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura said the forum had surpassed his expectations as he and others had hoped for investments of up to $5-billion towards the $100-billion goal that President Cyril Ramaphosa wants to attract within the next five years.
Ramaphosa has already managed to raise about $20.3-billion, towards this target following the investment summit in October.
“As a governor of a province I was worried, will there be something that will come out of here for my country? When I leave here will the minister say it was just a big fanfare and nothing came out, I was worried, but I am very pleased with the $6.8-billion,” Makhura said.
South Africa had placed seven projects worth $7.2-billion dollars on the forum’s investment book and six of those projects have received financial backing.
One of the biggest projects that was closed is the Gautrain expansion build project worth $3.9-billion.
Makhura said investors were falling over themselves in the oversubscribed boardroom where the presentation of the Gautrain project was taking place. “Imagine investors in a stampede all of them wanted to finance the Gautrain, so the appetite was huge”.
Gauteng also drew $240-million in investment for a public-private partnership involved in building the province’s schools.
In another oversubscribed boardroom discussion, an investment of $492-million was made towards a project that will renovate government buildings. Gauteng also had money put towards a renewable energy project.
“The African Development Bank has contributed to South Africa’s investment drive. That make us very happy,” said Makhura.
Other key highlights from the conference include the signing of a memorandum of agreement between Ghana and South Africa to develop and finance the $2.6-billion Accra Ai Skytrain.
The AfDB, infrastructure investment platform Africa50, and the governments of Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo signed a deal to build the first road-rail bridge linking the two capital cities of Kinshasa and Brazzaville. This agreement received $800-million in investment.