By David Agba Abuja African Development Bank President, Akinwumi Adesina, yesterday urged Canadian business leaders to “be part of the action and seize investment opportunities on the continent.” Adesina made the call while meeting with 80 leading representatives of the Canada-Africa Chamber of Commerce in Toronto.
Promoting the Bank’s upcoming Africa Investment Forum (AIF), scheduled for 7-9 November 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa, Adesina said, “Canada must not be missing at Africa’s investment table.
It is time to change the lens through which Africa is perceived and to make clear distinctions between perceived and real risks.” AIF will bring together global private capital and investment funds, sovereign wealth funds and the private sector, for what is primarily being billed as a transactional marketplace to bridge Africa’s $68 – $170 billion infrastructure gap.
Stella Kilonzo, Senior Director of the Africa Investment Forum; Timothy Turner, African Development Bank Group Chief Risk Officer; Garreth Bloor, Managing Director, Glenheim Venture Capital; Chris Clubb, Managing Director, Convergence Blended Finance; Hakan Gunay, Senior Director of Finance, Skypower Global, were among panelists discussing investment and blended finance options in Africa at the event.
Addressing participants, Bank Executive Director, David Stevenson explained that the Forum was “about deals and getting things done and not a talk shop.” Adesina, who is leading a highlevel delegation alongside Stevenson, Executive Director for Canada, China, South Korea, Kuwait and Turkey, also met with Reeta Roy, President/CEO of the MasterCard Foundation, to discuss synergies for supporting youth employment and access to finance for women entrepreneurs in Africa.
Earlier in Ottawa on Tuesday, Adesina announced a $1 billion synthetic securitization transaction at Canada’s National Press Theater.
Although securitization is routine for commercial banks, it is cutting-edge for development finance institutions.
The African Development Bank is the first Multi-Lateral Development Bank (MDB) to use this game-changing innovative financing mechanism.
Room2Run, structured as an impact investment, will enable the Bank to increase its lending to spur economic development and social progress across the continent.