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The Global African Investment Summit

Article - November 14, 2014

The heads of state of four African nations – Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Uganda – will meet in London on October 20-21 with investors from around the world, to seek financial support for the projects their countries need in order to assure their economic and social development.

The Global Africa Investment Summit, a first-ever event, will bring together investors and fund managers who represent more than $265 billion of capital under management, with the presidents, government ministers and CEOs of state companies in sub-Saharan Africa. The event is designed to bridge the gap between the financial world and the leaders of African nations whose huge economic potential is being held back by a lack of financing. The objective is to convince the deep pockets that putting funds into Africa is not a charitable enterprise but a profitable business venture. The African delegates will pitch projects in four major areas: natural resources, agribusiness, power and infrastructure. A total of 130 plans, large and small, will be discussed. They range in size from a $13.5 billion international railway connecting Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda to a $200,000 tomato processing facility in Ghana. Among the other projects are a solar power plant in Kenya, a new airport in Rwanda and an oil refinery in Uganda. Although most of the projects are government-sponsored, they also include several private initiatives. The projects have been chosen as ones that will spur economic development, by creating employment and promoting technology transfer. The chairperson of the Global African Investment Summit is former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo. Apart from executives from major international investment banks and private equity firms, the delegates will also include representatives of African investors, such as the sovereign wealth funds of Nigeria and Rwanda. In addition to presentations on the specific projects that require financial backing, the conference will include sessions on legal protection for investors in Africa, on the continent’s capital markets and on its emerging middle class.