Africa Investment Forum secures $34.82bn of investment interests

The 2023 edition of the AIF, held in Marrakech, secured investment interests for projects across the continent, including a commitment of $3bn to develop special agro-industrial processing zones.


Image : AIF

The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) 2023, held from 8-10 November in Marrakech, Morocco, successfully secured $34.82bn of investment interests for projects across the continent.

Project developers and investors looked at investment opportunities in several areas, including food and agriculture, renewable energy, mining, transport corridors, aviation, deep-water seaports and railways, ICT, digital infrastructure, artificial intelligence, creative industries and health.

The AIF is a multi-stakeholder, multi-disciplinary platform that advances projects to bankable stages, raises capital, and accelerates deals to financial closureIts vision is to channel capital towards critical sectors to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, the African Development Bank’s High 5s and the African Union’s Agenda 2063.

New alliance to boost African agriculture

Strong partnerships were forged with the launch of the Alliance for Special Agro-Industrial Processing Zones with an initial commitment of $3bn by the partners, who include the AfDB, the Africa Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation, and Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms.

The aim of the Alliance is to transform Africa’s underdeveloped rural areas into agro-industrial corridors of prosperity and streamline the development and delivery of SAPZ projects. SAPZs stimulate structural transformation in agriculture by connecting rural and urban development through the zone’s ecosystem. These zones integrate smallholder farmers into value chains through logistics and infrastructure, linking them to agro-industrial processors and consumer markets.

The new commitments consist of $1.1bn by the African Development Bank Group, $1bn by Afreximbank, $300m by the Islamic Development Bank Group (IsDB) and $600m from Arise Integrated Industrial Platforms (Arise IIP) and its partners.

“The Alliance will raise funds through various investment windows for project preparation, project development and construction, and financing for tenant companies,” said Adesina. “By doing so, the Alliance will bridge the critical financing gap, complement existing initiatives, and mobilise resources towards our common goal of enhancing agricultural value addition in Africa.”

Prof. Benedict Oramah, president and chairman of the board of directors of Afreximbank, welcomed the emergence of the Alliance and suggested that, to attract the private sector, the creation of continental regulatory bodies that countries could respect should be considered. “Projects of this nature are very visible,” he explained.

According to the Alliance members, meeting this financing goal will deliver an additional 15 to 20 SAPZ projects in various countries across the continent and improve administrative, policy and investment incentives.

Transformative impact

Speaking at the closing ceremony, Akinwumi Adesina, president of the African Development Bank, noted that the new investments would have a transformative impact on the lives of people on the continent, in line with the AIF’s vision to transform the continent by closing the investment gap.

“The Africa Investment Forum 2023 was a great success,” he said. “We successfully secured $34.82bn of investment interests. What an incredible achievement, all in just 72 hours.”

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Charles Dietz

Charles Dietz is a sub editor and journalist at African Business.