The African Development Bank (AfDB) is preparing preparations for the organization of the second Africa Investment Forum (AIF) to be held from 11 to 13 November 2019 in Johannesburg. Thus, an operation to promote this event was launched last Tuesday, from Casablanca aimed at Moroccan actors. An action that was conducted in partnership with Africa 50 and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
“The AIF has become today a true African platform for investment promotion whose first edition brought together nearly 2,000 participants with investment intentions expressed a total value of $ 38 billion”, says Leila Farah Mokaddem, AfDB representative for Morocco. It is an initiative that offers a concrete response to the challenge of financing for development that Africa faces.
As such, it is recalled that the only needs in basic infrastructure and services are between 130 and 170 billion dollars per year. The AIF is therefore a transactional platform that organizes both the instruction of projects, facilitates the raising of capital and accelerates the financial closure of operations, says the head of the AfDB.
The objective of the Casablanca meeting was to mobilize public and private investment actors to identify Moroccan bankable projects that can be presented during the second edition of AIF. Bilateral discussions on business opportunities have started with the technical teams of the AIF to expose the instruments as well as the modalities of support for the preparation of the projects. A presentation on the process of preparation of a project from the beginning of its development until its access to a transaction session of the AIF, was projected for this purpose.
It should be noted that during the first edition of this forum in 2018, no Moroccan project was among those selected. For some Moroccan actors, this is explained by the selection criteria that penalize the participation of SMEs that make up nearly 90% of the national economic fabric. “Thus, according to the GDP of Morocco, the investment of the project must be greater than or equal to 100 million dollars with a share of clean funding of nearly 30%”, explains a source close to the file.
“We can go below this amount, if the project is innovative with a significant impact on development and commercial reliability,” says Oniké Nicol-Houra, head of commitment to investors at the AIF.
Note also that after Casablanca, a second stopover of the AIF is scheduled in Cairo at the beginning of next September.