Beginning of a new dawn for SA and Africa
This month President Cyril Ramaphosa and his counterparts from Africa demonstrated Africa’s investment potential to international investors and Africa’s biggest investors at the Africa Investment Forum.
This successful investment game-changer platform was truly a multi-stakeholder, multidisciplinary platform, which mobilised investments in infrastructure, energy, agriculture, sport assets, public transport and other pipeline projects that guaranteed a good return.
Since the dawn of democracy South Africa has benefited from the support of the African Development Bank in various ways. The Sere Wind Project, the first large-scale renewable energy project in South Africa, is co-financed by the bank. It adds 100megawatts to the national power grid. Over its expected 20-year operating life, it will produce about 298000 MW/* annually, enough electricity to light up 120000 homes.
The bank has loaned $1.4bn (R19.7bn) to Eskom for the Medupi power station. It has also supported the push to greater beneficiation by supporting the Kalagadi Industrial Beneficiation Project.
Founded in 2001 by black African women entrepreneurs, Kalahari Resources is investing in the mining sector currently dominated by men. The bank has granted Kalagadi Manganese a loan of 150 million (R2.39bn). Through this project, it will contribute not only to the revival of the mining industry but also provide significant economic benefits by creating long-term employment and wealth creation.
The African Development Bank also supports the SA Commuter Transit Project. Its funding will secure about 8000 commuter transit vehicles, or nearly 7% of the current need in the country, thereby supporting 600000 safer daily trips, and providing commuter transit to workers living in townships.
The Africa Investment Forum was an ideal platform to build on these successes. It created a space for foreign direct investors, multilateral banks, sovereign wealth funds, private investors, corporates, pension funds and traditional investors who discussed and concluded on these deals.
The pitching sessions for young entrepreneurs and small business was a great signature of access to finance at this world-class event.
In a short space of time Ramaphosa has shown that there is massive potential in investing in Africa. The forum moved us further in unlocking the potential of the continent by reducing barriers to investment.
African Development Bank president Akinwumi Adesina described the outcome of $32bn worth of transactions as a big success. “I could not be happier,” he said. However, we don’t want to congratulate ourselves. The responsibility that lies on our shoulders is huge. This is just the beginning and a preview of what is still possible to advance increased investments on the continent.
It's staggering to think that in only three days after the opening of the forum by Gauteng Premier David Makhura the province bagged projects worth $6.8bn.
The Africa Investment Forum is truly the beginning of a massive momentum shift. This deep sense of commitment from our leaders to focus on initiatives that truly transform Africa daily should be applauded.
In this new dawn, Africa is rising and on track to deliver as one the Agenda 2063 today.
* Ayanda Holo, GCIS director: international media engagements, writes in his personal capacity. Follow him on Twitter: @ayandaholo
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.