July 15, 2019: In his opening speech at Africa50's general shareholders' meeting held in Kigali, African Development Bank (AfDB) president Akinwumi Adesina, who is board chair of Africa50 urged more African countries to join the institution, which he described as 'the continent's main investment vehicle.'

Africa50 is a fund for developing and financing African infrastructure, funded by the African Development Bank (AfDB), African governments and private and institutional investors.

The Prime Minister of Rwanda Edouard Ngirente also urged the African governments to explore innovative technologies to drive transformation on the continent.

“Africa 50 is on track to launch a private sector third party fund to leverage $1 billion from private sector institutional investors. I encourage countries that have not yet joined Africa50 to do so. Join us as we move towards a future of great promise for Africa. Join us as we lay the foundations for a more prosperous Africa,” Adesina urged.

Alain Ebobissé, CEO at Africa 50, noted that the organisation had made significant progress over the years and built an effective partnership with several African countries.

“A game changer in the infrastructure space in Africa will occur when enough decision makers acknowledge that the opportunity cost of delayed projects implementation is very high. Doing nothing or slowing down projects costs deprives citizens of services and economic opportunity,” Ebobissé added.

Adesina made an appeal to investors to attend the Bank’s 2019 Africa Investment Forum, stressing that Africa is ready for massive investments and offers an attractive investment destination. The Forum’s lead partners include Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), African Export-Import Bank (AfreximBank), Trade and Development Bank (TDB), Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Africa50, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

“Africa is ready for massive investments and the environment is getting more attractive for investors,” Adesina said.

“One such investment is the construction of the bridge that will connect the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo, a $550 million transaction is led by Africa50 in partnership with the AfDB.”

Added to this, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) has opened possibilities for the world’s largest free trade area and an integrated single market for Africa, the attendees agreed.

To enjoy the full benefits of the AfCFTA, Adesina said that the continent needed to be connected through roads, rail, ports, airports, information, and communication technology (ICT) backbones and energy corridors. “This will be crucial for spurring future economic growth in Africa,” Adesina noted.

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