PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa during the opening panel discussion at the second annual Africa Investment Forum in Joburg. He said Africans should contribute to their prosperity as they position themselves to be the critical cog in the rebalancing of the global economy. GCIS

CAPE TOWN  - The African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) on Friday welcomed investment pledges of US$40.1 billion made this week at the Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg.

“This welcome financial and investment commitment comes after the country has gone through a series of downgrades due to political and policy uncertainty, and in particular, the lack of concrete forward movement over our state-owned entities, with Eskom as the elephant in the room,” ACDP MP Wayne Thring said. 

"This level of commitment to Africa shifts the narrative from one of aid to one of strategic trade partnerships for the continent. This buy-in, into Africa, shows that we are ready to participate in the global stage as trade partners and a formidable investment destination.”

The Africa Investment Forum declared it had secured $40.1 billion in investment during the event, which was held at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg this week.

Delegates from across the globe gathered at the event in an effort  to attract billions from foreign investors to boost business and help to close the continent's huge infrastructure gap.

South Africa aims to target US$10 billion of the total sum.

ACDP welcomes $40 billion raised at Africa Investment Forum in Johannesburg. FILE IMAGE/ANA

The ACDP said it welcomed the bid to create a more business friendly South Africa, which would look at strengthening small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) across the country with a European Union investment of R745 million, the bulk of the funds being prioritised for SMMEs.

The project will fund initiatives to address some of the challenges that SMMEs face.

“The ACDP believes that policies need to be in place that facilitate business development, and that government departments which work with SMMEs are the driving force in this regard. This should come with the reduction of unnecessary red tape and quick and efficient processing of applications by establishing dedicated one-stop business registration centres,” said Thring.

- African News Agency (ANA)