Picture: CHRIS RATCLIFFE/BLOOMBERG.

JOHANNESBURG  - The United States has a unique role to play in increasing investments in Africa and expanding opportunities for U.S. companies as the world’s private sector leader, the president of the African Development Bank has said.

Adesina told a forum on the sidelines of the World Bank-IMF spring meetings in Washington D.C. that it was time to turn around declining U.S. investments and take advantage of opportunities other global players were already investing in.

"I strongly encourage you to look at Africa from an investment lens and not a development lens. Africa is a continent of huge untapped opportunities in power, infrastructure, IT and agriculture, which many other global players are already beginning to realize," he said.

Adesina also urged support for the Affirmative Finance Action for Women in Africa, a US$300 million risk sharing facility designed to unlock $3 billion in credit for women-owned businesses and enterprises in Africa.

U.S. Congresswoman Karen Bass, chairwoman of the house foreign relations subcommittee on Africa, global human rights and international organizations, aknowledged that Africa needed investment in large infrastructure projects, including roads, railroads, ports, and transnational highways "to achieve both structural transformation and market integration".

Her office was exploring legislation to help facilitate investment in infrastructure projects, Bass told the forum.

- African News Agency (ANA), Editing by Stella Mapenzauswa