Durban - A $1 billion Belt and Road Africa Fund was announced on the sidelines of the annual WEF Summer Davos Meeting, which is currently under way in Dalian, China.
The fund, to be headed by chairman-designate Dr Iqbal Survé, will focus on investments on the African continent, which will include co-investments in infrastructure, technology, e-Commerce, artificial intelligence (AI) and the beneficiation of the resource industry in Africa.
Most importantly, the fund will serve as a bridge between African and Chinese businesses, thus strengthening, particularly, the co-operation between business sectors in China and Africa.
Dr Survé, who is the chairman of the Sekunjalo Group, along with several Chinese family offices and business people, launched the fund, which will be capitalised with a billion dollars from wealthy Chinese investors.
Commenting from China, Dr Survé said: “The discussions that we've had with Chinese business people, state-owned enterprises and family offices, have resulted in the establishment of this fund. Africa is ready to grow and is heading towards a $5 trillion economy. The Chinese have seen how China was able to grow from 1980, when China made up only 2% of the global GDP when compared to today, where China makes up 19% of the global GDP. This fund is a great boost for the development of Africa.”
Dr Survé stressed that while the focus of the fund would be on the continent, South Africa would still be one of the beneficiaries.
The Belt and Road Africa Business Council, of which Dr Survé is the chairman-designate, will be launched in September, with a target membership of at least 1000 Chinese and African companies. This follows the appointment of Dr Survé to the Belt and Road News Network Council and Think Tank earlier this year.
Dr Survé is the immediate past chairperson of the BRICS Business Council for South Africa, and in his final year was also the Business Council Chairman for the BRICS countries.
The Belt and Road Initiative, as outlined by Chinese President Xi Jinping, is one of the most important developments of China and its contribution to the global economy.
Dr Survé said that the fund would announce the sectors in which it will make the investments, as well as the format of these investments, at the launch in September.