Fortune News | Nov 23,2019
Six heads of state and high level delegates from 109 countries, of whom 48 are from Africa, were on hand when the second edition of the African Investment Forum opened today in the Sandton Convention Centre, Johannesburg.
Unlike last year when President Sahle-work Zewde took centre stage, Ethiopia is underrepresented this year. Not even its ambassador to South Africa, Shiferaw Teklemariam (PhD), is in attendance. The government sent a diplomat in his stead to a Forum where 59 investment deals estimated to be worth 67 billion dollars are slated to take place over three days.
President of the host country, Cyril Ramaphosa, had invited Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (PhD) to attend the Forum. In fact, since he came to office, he has been invited to South Africa four times, according to people knowledgeable of the bilateral relationship between the two countries. He has yet to take up the offer.
Perhaps busy putting the final touches on the merger of the ruling EPRDF at home, Abiy tried to send his deputy, Demeke Mekonnen, at the last minute. Despite his confirmation of participation, and last minute preparation for his arrival here in Johannesburg, he too decided to cancel in order to attend the Executive Committee meeting of the EPRDF, called for Wednesday.
It will be the most consequential meeting of the incumbent party. Senior leaders of the EPRDF will vote on the single agenda on the menu, the merger of the ruling party and whether to send their decision to its council, according to sources close to the process. Party functionaries have already completed the by-laws and programme of the party that is expected to evolve, though vehement objections exist from the senior partner in the coalition, the TPLF.
Such pressing and delicate domestic affairs might have kept Ethiopia’s leaders busy at home, while representatives from many countries in the continent are scrambling to get a slice of capital flowing to Africa. Organisers say the forum is more than a talking shop and heavy on real transactions. Last year, 32 billion dollars worth of deals were made, where Ethiopia had received 100 million dollars in loans to expand its national electrification programme.
”The Forum has a very simple agenda,” said Victor Oladokun, director of communications and external relations at the Africa Development Bank (AfDB), the main organiser of the forum. "It's tilting the flow of capital into Africa at a much greater level than we have experienced up to now.”
The largest chunk of this capital, 37 billion dollars, is expected to go to Southern Africa. The second largest, 14 billion dollars, is taken by Central Africa, while the lowest, 1.5 billion dollars could end up in East Africa. Much of this capital is to be invested in energy, infrastructure, agro-processing and the healthcare industry.
“We’re not scared of investing in Africa,” said Akinwumi A. Adesina, president of the AfDB. “We can’t be scared of our neighborhood.”
The issue this year is about “scaling up and speeding up” investment to Africa, according to Admassu Tadesse, president and chief executive officer of the Trade & Development Bank (TDA). Indeed, the Forum this year has seen 30pc larger pledges for investment than the 47 billion dollars chasing viable projects in Africa during the last Forum.
PUBLISHED ON Nov 11,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1020]
Fortune News | Nov 23,2019
Radar | Nov 23,2019
Fortune News | Jul 06,2019
Fortune News | Jul 27,2019
Editorial | May 23,2020
Editorial | Jan 01,2022
Radar | Jul 18,2020
Commentaries | Jun 29,2019
Fortune News | Apr 25,2020
Fortune News | Sep 06,2020
November 27 , 2021
Against my will, I have witnessed the most terrible defeat of reason and the most sa...
November 13 , 2021
Plans and reality do not always gel. They rarely do in a fast-moving world. Every act...
October 16 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
Residing in a country with no capital market, an organised marketplace for trading se...
August 28 , 2021 . By HAWI DADHI
The streets of Addis Abeba are as varied as they are many, although too many of them have yet to be named. From the narrow alleyways of the...
Leaders of the National Election Board are in a charm offensive mood, of a sort. Last week, they organised a rare tour for members of the me...
When the country’s most senior diplomats and envoys return back to their posts after two-week debriefings, they leave behind a point or tw...
May 21 , 2022
There was a great deal of handshaking and patting each other on the back at the Hyatt...
May 14 , 2022
Diana Yohannes is one of those actively engaging in social media platforms with her T...
May 7 , 2022
The Ethiopian Economic Association (EEA) recently proposed the formation of a macroec...
April 30 , 2022
There is no ambiguity in the UNDP's assessment of Ethiopia’s economic performance a...
PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD) at a Gala Dinner Called for the Awarding of the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize
May 6 , 2019
Adulteration is getting out of hand. Consumers in Ethiopia are being left to their ow...
Or see contact page