Maiden ECOWAS Investment Forum a complete success say delegates

Over 700 delegates, ranging from finance and development experts to public officials and entrepreneurs participated in the first ECOWAS Investment Forum held in Togo in April. The Forum addressed the challenges caused by several global shocks acing ECOWAS member states.

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This article is sponsored by BIDC

According to delegates attending the maiden edition of the ECOWAS Investment Forum (EIF 2024) organised by the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID) on April 4 and 5, 2024 in partnership with the Government of the Togolese Republic and the Government of India through India Exim Bank, was a complete success and had lived up to all its promises.

These two days of intensive discussions brought together more than 700 development actors and stakeholders, including public officials, experts from the finance, investment, renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture sectors as well as entrepreneurs and media.

Under the theme Transforming ECOWAS Communities in a Challenging Environment, the forum discussed pressing issues including food security, developing sustainable infrastructure, and leveraging the green economy to tackle youth unemployment.  

The Forum included four panel sessions, three deal rooms and presentations by the sponsors.

EIF 2024 was officially opened by Her Excellency Victoire Dogbe Tomegah, Prime Minister of the Togolese Republic. Present at the ceremony were high profile personalities including Mr. Sédiko Douka, ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalization representing the President of the ECOWAS Commission, Dr. George Agyekum Donkor, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of EBID and M. Shri P. Kumaran, Special Secretary, Economic Relations & Development Partnership Administration at the Ministry of External Affairs of India. 

In her opening remarks, Her Excellency Victoire Dogbe Tomegah pointed out that that “regional institutions, often perceived by the population as distant from realities, seem to play a limited role in people’s daily lives, at least according to this perception”. She lauded the ‘new dynamic’ provided by the inaugural forum.

She said, “the Lomé Forum aims to highlight the investment potential of West Africa. I urge you to grasp the importance of these moments. We are at a time when we need to think outside the box and propose actions to further our development. 

“In this sense, the organisation of this forum is a new departure, but this departure will only be beneficial if it leads to the implementation of projects that have a significant impact on the populations and make the ECOWAS of peoples effective.” 

The Prime Minister reiterated the commitment of the Government of the Togolese Republic to contribute strongly to the development to the sub region.“Let us pay tribute to (Togo’s) President Faure Essozimna Gnassingbé’s vision for an ECOWAS that is people-centered, pragmatic and proud of itself. It is with this hope that, on behalf of His Excellency the President of the Togolese Republic, I declare duly open the first ECOWAS Investment Forum (EIF 2024)”.

The President of EBID, Dr George Agyekum Donkor said that EIF 2024 was a prestigious event, which served as a beacon of collaboration and progress in the common quest for economic development and prosperity in the ECOWAS region.

“The forum serves as a platform for investors and promoters to converge, collaborate, and deliver transformative projects that inspire economic growth and position the ECOWAS region as a preferred investment destination. 

“Investing in developing economies is not just about generating profits; it’s about creating sustainable growth, reducing poverty, and building a better future for all.

 “From infrastructure development to food security, from climate change mitigation to job creation, the discussions and commitments at this forum will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of our collective efforts to build a more resilient and inclusive future for all,” he said. 

EIF 2024 provided a unique opportunity to promote investments in key sectors of ECOWAS Member States. The focus on enhancing shared prosperity and eradicating poverty. Discussions evolved around investment opportunities in sectors critical to the well-being of ECOWAS Communities, including education, health, infrastructure, environmental sustainability, and access to the global market.

This flagship event showcased West Africa’s strong investment potential through a series of private and public sector development projects and facilitated partnerships and investment.