Africa, Nigeria now best investment destination, says AfDB - THE GUARDIAN
By Mathias Okwe, Abuja
Africa, and in particular Nigeria, has become the best place for investment following the consummation of the about $3 trillion African market in the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which Nigeria formally accented to at the just-concluded African Union (AU) Meetings in Niamey, Niger.
Senior Director, African Development Bank (AfDB), Regional Office Nigeria, Mr. Ebrima Faal, made the assertion Tuesday, in Abuja, at the second Africa Investment Forum (AIF) road-show aimed at sensitizing investors and other stakeholders for the forum scheduled to hold in Johannesburg, South Africa, in November.
According to him, at about 9.3 per cent, the rate of return on investment on the African continent was higher than any other developing region.
Faal further said: “Africa is ready and Nigeria is ready. The investment landscape is promising, and it is time to put our money where our mouth is. Permit me to tell you why.
“The rate of return on foreign investment is higher in Africa than any other developing region – 9.3% and still growing; Africa continues to demonstrate economic resilience with an expected GDP growth of 4% in 2019, signifying growth above expectation.”
Spotlighting the investment opportunities, he said: “the Africa Investment Forum offers a unique opportunity to exhaust numerous options for sound, innovative, and economically viable growth for the continent and especially for Nigeria. Even with gross international reserves of about $45 billion and a pension fund of about N8 trillion, Nigeria will need a considerable amount of private finance to bridge its cumulative infrastructural needs of about $3 trillion by 2024. The time for bridging this gap is now.
“We are hosting the Nigeria road-show in collaboration with the Africa Finance Corporation whose mandate is to bridge Africa’s infrastructure investment gap through the provision of debt and equity finance, project development, technical and financial advisory services. As Africans, we recognise that the heartbeat of every community is the market place. It is not exclusively for the exchange of goods and services. It is where alliances are formed, where sustenance is found, where hearts and minds meet to pave the future.”
African Development Bank and its partners are excited to present you with the mother of all markets, the business rendezvous of the year – the Africa Investment Forum.”Also speaking, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, said his team had started working on how to attract investors to the state, and that an investment agency has been established by his administration.
Dr. Fayemi, who is also Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), said his colleagues recognised the need for foreign investment and had slated a national investment forum in November, where the governors would present investment opportunities in their states.