Energy Ministers From Eight African Countries Gather In China Without Nigeria To Canvass For A Share Of The $5billion Available For Investment In Continent’s Energy Sector
Nigeria, listed as an investment destination for China, is missing on the roll as the Chinese government hosts eight African nations to a high powered investment opportunities forum which begins in Beijing on October 15.
The two-day investment drive will focus on opportunities in the energy sector of Africa’s economy. Listed to address the forum and present investment opportunities in the energy sector of their countries are energy ministers from Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and South Africa.
Chairman of the Board of ICBC Standard Bank PLC, Mingqiang Bi and Deputy General Manager, Special Financing Department, ICBC Bank, Madam Shen Min are expected to provide insights into investment financing for
A statement made available to The UNION on the forum said “there will be 11+ project presentations featuring major opportunities, including: The East to West Landbridge – LAPSSET Corridor; East African Standard Gauge Railways; Dry port development in Ghana; Unbundling of state utilities in Liberia and; Gas-to Power investment opportunities in Mozambique and South Africa.
The forum, which is in its fourth year, is tagged The 4th Annual Africa Infrastructure and Power Forum and “partners with the China Africa Development Fund, who will be seeking new projects to receive some of the $5billion under their management”.
Energy industry experts link Nigeria’s absence at the investment forum on the absence of an Energy Minister for the country. President Muhammadu Buhari, who has been unable to form a cabinet since inauguration on May 29, had promised to do so before the month runs out.
The statement notes that 2015 marks a turning point for African investment with the need to address the continent’s energy deficit, and the critical requirement to connect those living without access to electricity. According to the statement, 13 percent of world’s population live without electricity, majority, in Africa.
The statement notes that “Despite the headwinds caused by lower oil and commodity prices, and weakening currencies across sub-Saharan Africa, progress continues to be made. “Nigeria witnessed the most notable investment deal in recent weeks, with Africa’s largest privately held business –Dangote- signing a $4.34 billion deal with China’s Sinoma, an indication of Nigeria’s infrastructural ambition.
“In the same period, another of the world’s fastestgrowing economies, Kenya, has earmarked $55.6 billion for infrastructure development. Kenya’s road network urgently needs improvement – essential for trade and tourism, indispensable lines of inward investment.
“Global investors demand for African opportunities were displayed this month when one of the world’s largest private-equity funds – The Abraaj Group – announced it had raised $1.4 billion, indicating the dawn of billion-dollar African private-equity funds searching for greater returns than offered by alternative, saturated markets.
Of 119 African investor deals, there has only been one default in the past decade”. It also said that of all interested parties looking to invest in Africa this year, China remains the only nation that has consistently sought to improve infrastructure and power development on the continent.
The growth of China-Africa trade is revolutionizing African development, stimulating crucial upgrades of the continent’s infrastructure and power development – highlighted in June when Tanzania awarded a consortium of Chinese railway companies projects valued at $9billion.