Events
 Investing in Africa Forum: Partnering to Accelerate Investment, Industrialization, and Results in Africa
The Investing in Africa Forum: Partnering to Accelerate Investment, Industrialization, and Results in Africa
June 30-July 01, 2015Sheraton Hotel, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


A two day international forum aimed at boosting investment in Africa will kick off on June 30, in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa. The Investing in Africa Forum, which is a collaborative effort between the Government of the People’s Republic of China, the World Bank Group (WBG), China Development Bank (CDB), the China-Africa Development Fund (CAD-Fund), the Government of Ethiopia (GoE) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), is driven by their common belief that increased investment and industrialization would help to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction in African countries. Specifically, the forum aims to promote accelerated and responsible investment and investment partnerships in African countries, both from China and elsewhere as well as within Africa, particularly for the light manufacturing sector.

Close to 200 people including ministers and governors from both China and over a dozen African countries, high ranking representatives of regional economic and multilateral organizations, private firms and other development partners are expected to participate.

China is currently the largest single bilateral investor in Africa as well as Africa's largest trading partner. Recent visits by Chinese leaders to Africa have re-confirmed Chinese commitment to the continent and signaled a pragmatic approach to cooperation, grounded in the priorities at the national and regional levels. China is keen to pursue balanced and accelerated investment in African countries, and new investment partnerships with investors from both OECD countries and other emerging sources of finance, including Africa itself.

The Government of the People’s Republic of China, the World Bank Group (WBG), the Government of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (GoE), and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) believe that increased investment and industrialization would help to unlock the potential for sustainable and inclusive growth, job creation and poverty reduction in African countries. They therefore agreed to have the China Development Bank (CDB), WBG, GoE, the China-Africa Development Fund (CAD-Fund) and UNIDO to organize a Forum to promote engaged and informed dialogue among stakeholders - policy makers, development partners, foreign and local private investors – on how investment could be encouraged and industrialization accelerated. 

Objective and Theme

The objective of the Forum is to promote accelerated and responsible investment and investment partnerships in African countries, from China and elsewhere, particularly for the light manufacturing sector. As much recent literature has recorded, there can be substantial advantages from developing certain kinds of light manufacturing activities in African countries, given the availability of local resources and relatively low labor costs, as well as the rapidly rising wages and land costs in the current hub of light manufacturing industry in East Asia. However, neither the current scale of such manufacturing, nor the rate at which it is increasing, meet expectations, and recurrent implementation problems have emerged.

In this context, the conference will consider the role of business climate, trade logistics and regional initiatives in Africa, and seek to identify a forward time-bound action agenda. Existing and potential modes of collaboration between China, African countries, development partners, and the private sector will be considered.

The Forum will be structured around sessions covering: (i) accelerating industrialization and manufacturing; (ii) making special economic zones (SEZs) and industrial parks work; (iii) infrastructure and trade logistics, including regional integration; (iv) creating the conditions to accelerate responsible private sector investment, (v) skills development for competitiveness and job creation, and vi) improving agricultural productivity and expanding agribusiness opportunities. An important aspect of each session will be to have the benefit of Chinese experience on the topic as they relate to specific national and subnational settings in Africa. The WBG will bring the perspective of its analytical work and ongoing programs. 

09:00 - 10:00 - Opening Session

Welcoming remarks and Chair:

  • H.E. Ato Sufian Ahmed, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Keynote speakers

  • H.E. Ato. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • Ms. Liu Jianhua, Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance, People’s Republic of China
  • Mr. Makhtar Diop, Vice President for Africa, the World Bank Group
  • Mr. Yuan Li, Executive Vice President, China Development Bank, People’s Republic of China
  • Mr. Xu Shaohua, Executive Vice Governor Guangdong Province, People’s Republic of China
  • Mr. Philippe Scholtès, Managing Director of Program Development and Technical Cooperation, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO)

10:00 - 10:15 - Break

10:15 - 12:00 - Session 1: Practical Steps to Accelerate Industrialization and manufacturing

Chair:

  • H.E. Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister with the rank of Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Moderator:

  • Mr. Todd Benjamin

Panelists:

  • Mr. Shi Jiyang, Former Deputy Director General, Global Cooperation Department of China Development Bank Corporation; new President of China-Africa Development Fund, People’s Republic of China 
  • Hon. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah, Minister of Trade and Industry, The Republic of Ghana (TBC)
  • Prof. Deborah Bräutigam, Director of the International Development Program, Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, United States of America
  • Mr. Cheng Wei, Deputy General Manager of China Electric Power Equipment and Technology Co. Ltd.

Focus of session: How industrialization and manufacturing can be accelerated in African countries, based on experience to date? What type of manufacturing provides an entry point?

Key questions the session could address include: In what areas of industrialization have African countries experienced success, and in what areas are they facing challenges? What were the key ingredients of China’s success and how can these be suitably replicated in African countries? How can the Government of China further engage with African governments and Chinese investors to encourage Chinese FDI in Africa, especially in manufacturing? What else should African governments do to attract such investment?

Discussion: Participants will be asked to share their experiences.

12:00 - 14:00 Lunch, with Keynote speech

Chair:

  • Mr. Guang Zhe Chen, Country Director for Ethiopia, Africa Region, the World Bank

Speaker:

  • Prof. Justin Yifu Lin, Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce, People’s Republic of China

14:00 - 16:00 - Session 2: Making Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Industrial Parks work better in Africa

Chair:

  • H.E. Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister with the rank of Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Moderator:

  • Mr. Todd Benjamin

Panelists:

  • H.E. Dr. Arkebe Oqubay, Senior Advisor to the Prime Minister with the rank of Minister, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • Dr. Shen Jiben, Senior Strategic & Planning Manager, Planning Department of China Development Bank Corporation, People’s Republic of China
  • Ms. Cecile Fruman, Director for Trade and Competitiveness GP, the World Bank
  • Mr. Philippe Scholtès, Managing Director of Program Development and Technical Cooperation, UNIDO

Focus of session: Experience of SEZs and industrial parks. What has worked what has not, and why

Key questions the session could address include: What has been the experience of SEZs and industrial parks in African countries? How has this differed from the Chinese experience? What are the necessary conditions for success and what is the best way to achieve and sustain them?

Discussion: Participants will be asked to share their experiences.

16:00 - 16:15 - Break

16:15 - 18:15 - Session 3: Accelerating Improvements in Infrastructure and Trade Logistics

Chair:

  • H.E. Mr. Ilyas Dawaleh, Minister of Economy and Finance, Republic of Djibouti

Moderator:

  • Mr. Todd Benjamin

Panelists:

  • Ato Mekonnen Abera Tadele, Director General, Ethiopian Maritime Affairs Authority
  • Mr. Sindiso Ngwenya, Secretary General, COMESA (TBC)
  • Mr. Shao Gang, Vice President of China Tiesiju Civil Engineering Group, Ltd.
  • Mr. Song Dongsheng, Chairman of Sinohydro Cor. Ltd.
  • Mr. Koffi Klousseh, Principal Investment Officer, Infrastructure, IFC

Focus of session: Stimulating accelerated and creative action to overcome infrastructure and logistical impediments to manufacturing.

Key questions the session could address include: What are the key infrastructure and policy constraints to efficient manufacturing and job creation? What are good practice examples of how these constraints have been overcome? What are the successful experiences countries can follow in reducing trade logistics costs and transit time? How can necessary infrastructure be financed? How can China, African Governments and other partners and the private sector work together to find and implement additional solutions quickly?

Discussion: Participants will be asked to share their experiences.

19:00 - 20:30 - Welcoming Dinner Hosted by China Development Bank

Chair:

  • Mr. Bian Shiyuan, Deputy Director General, International Finance Department, China Development Bank, People’s Republic of China

Remarks:

  • Mr. Yuan Li, Executive Vice President, China Development Bank, People’s Republic of China

09:00 - 11:00 - Session 4:  Rapidly Creating the Conditions to Accelerate Private Sector Investment

Chair:

  • Mr. Colin Bruce, Director, the World Bank

Moderator:

  • Mr. Todd Benjamin

Panelists:

  • H.E. Amadou Boubacar Cissé, Minister of State for Planning, Regional Development, and Community Development, Republic of Niger (TBC) 
  • Mr. Ken Poonoosamy, Managing Director, Board of Investment, Republic of      Mauritius (TBC)
  • Mr. Gu Xun, Vice President of Startimes Communication Network Technology
  • Prof. Lu Feng, Professor, School of Government & Director, Leo Ko-Guan Institute for Business and Government, Beijing University, People’s Republic of China

Focus of  session:  What  constitutes  an  enabling  policy  environment  and development-oriented investment, and how do they reinforce each other?

Key questions the session could address include:  From the Chinese investor and foreign private sector perspective, what are two or three key things that make a country attractive for investment? From the African perspective, what maximizes the development impact of investment by Chinese and other international companies? What lessons can be learned from the experience of other countries?  What do governments and private companies need to do to ensure that reforms and policies are actually implemented to attract FDI?

Discussion: Participants will be asked to share their experiences.

11:00 - 11:15 - Break

11:15 - 13:15 - Session 5: Skills Development for Improved Competitiveness and Job Creation

Chair:

  • Dr. Kaba Urgessa, State Minister for Higher Education, Ministry of Education, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

Moderator:

  • Mr. Todd Benjamin

Panelists:

  • Mr. Zhang Huarong, President of Dongguan Huabao Shoes Co., Ltd.
  • Mr. Dejene Tezera, Program Manager, UNIDO
  • Mr. Zhang Suoqing, Director of International Business, State Nuclear Electric Power Planning Design & Research Institute, People’s Republic of China
  • Prof. Aminate Sall Diallo, Advisor to the Minister of Higher Education and Research of Senegal, Republic of Senegal

Focus of session:  How can investment  by  China  and  Africa  work  more effectively together to help accelerate skills improvements in African countries?

Key questions the session could address include:  From the perspective of African and Chinese private sector representatives, what are the major skills gaps, and how have they overcome them?  What did skills development cost them and how long did it take?   What would the private sector like to see Chinese and African governments do in order to improve local skills, and what actions would governments like the private sector to take? Are there examples of successful government and private sector partnerships in terms of developing skills?

Discussion: Participants will be asked to share their experiences.

13:15 - 14:30 - Lunch

14:30 - 16:30 - Session 6: Transforming Agricultural Productivity and Accelerating Agribusiness Opportunities

Chair:

  • Ms. Josefine Stubbs, Associate Vice President, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)

Moderator:

  • Mr. Todd Benjamin

Panelists:

  • Mr. Ato Khalid Bomba, CEO, Ethiopian Agricultural Transformation Agency
  • Dr. Agnes Kalibata, President of Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA)
  • Mr. Shi Jiyang, Deputy Director General, Global Cooperation Department of China Development Bank Corporation, People’s Republic of China
  • Mr. Mark Cackler, Practice Manager, GP Agriculture, the World Bank
  • Mr. Ji Weimin, President of CGC Overseas Construction Group, People’s Republic of China
  • Mr. Simon Andrews, Senior Manager, China, Mongolia, and Korea, IFC

Focus of session: What are some examples of successful agricultural transformation in China and Africa, and how can such success be taken to scale?

Key questions the session could address include:   What key policy and technical issues need to be addressed to enable small scale producers and traders to benefit from the growing demand for food on the continent?  How can uptake of new technologies be promoted on the ground? What lessons can be learned from China’s experience?

Discussion: Participants will be asked to share their experiences.

16:30 - 17:00 - Closing Session

Chair:

  • Ms. Haleh Bridi, Director of External Communications and Partnerships, Africa Region, the World Bank
Speakers:
  • H.E. Ato Ahmed Shide, State Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia 
  • Mr. Yuan Li, Executive Vice President, China Development Bank, People’s Republic of China
  • Mr. Makhtar Diop, Vice President for Africa, the World Bank Group

18:30 – 20:30 - Reception hosted by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

 

Details
  • Date: June 30 – July 1, 2015
  • Location: Sheraton Hotel
    Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
  • Document: Media Advisory
  • Agenda: Day 1 - Day 2