African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina has paid tribute to African leaders for embracing the continent’s economic growth project, saying that this will go a long way in attracting tangible investment for the continent.
Adesina was speaking at a panel discussion on the first day of a three-day inaugural Africa Investment Forum being held in Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg on Wednesday.
The AfDB president described the current crop of African leaders as being the chief executive officers of their countries.
“African leaders are doing business differently. We are seeing our leaders as CEOs of their own corporations, if you will,” he said.
Adesina emphasised that the forum is not an event but a platform on which African governments, the private sector, project promoters and investors should converge to give impetus to a number of crucial deals.
It’s all about transactions, the AfDB head said.
“This is not a show and tell event. We are coming together to develop quality bankable projects to make sure that we can de-risk those projects and fast track the closure of those deals in order to collectively work together to ensure that the policy, together with the legal and regulatory environment, happen,” Adesina said.
He assured delegates that working together, the African continent would fast track its development.
“We are not here to discuss aid. We are here to discuss investment because every country develops through investment.”
Several Heads of State and Government from across the African continent are expected to attend the forum.
Among the presidents expected to attend are Angola’s Joao Lourenco, Benin’s Patrice Talon, Cameroon’s Paul Biya, Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta, Nigeria’s Muhammadu Buhari, Rwanda’s Paul Kagame and Cyril Ramaphosa.