Africa remains fertile ground for investment, says AfDB president

African Development Bank president Akinwumi A. Adesina has reiterated that the fundamentals for strong economic growth are still in place in Africa, despite of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adesina was joined last week by several international business executives and representatives of the UK government for the Africa Investment Conference, a virtual one-day event organised by the UK Department for International Trade.

Participants heard that the young and rapidly urbanising continent offers ample investment opportunities in natural resources, agriculture and renewable energy, with the landmark African Continental Free Trade Area buttressing business conditions for the entire region.

In a fireside chat with the UK’s Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith, Adesina said: “The fundamentals in those phenomenal growth rates in Africa are still there…Africa still leads in terms of ease of doing business…It’s very exciting, the digital explosion that you see in Africa today.”

Wade-Smith said she was heartened to learn that 10 of the fastest-growing economies are in Africa, adding that there was not enough awareness of how much innovation was happening in the region. “I’ve been struck by how many opportunities there are,” she said.

Africa’s economy shrank by 2.1% in 2020 but is expected to grow by 3.4% in 2021 as the global economy recovers from the shock of the COVID-19 pandemic.