The 2017 Forum follows prior IAFs held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (2015) and Guangdong, China (2016) and aims to promote lessons learned in the development trajectories of China and Africa as well as to accelerate investment on the continent. This year’s Forum will be hosted by Senegal, a dynamic West African country that has grown at more than 6 percent over the past two years and is committed to building a diverse, inclusive and innovative economy.
As global growth becomes more uncertain, and increasingly driven by technology, it is more important than ever to build strong ties between China and Africa to promote innovation and help the continent leapfrog into the future. Under the overarching theme of Leapfrogging through Innovation, six key topics will be discussed: (i) Energy; (ii) Agriculture and Agribusiness; (iii) Information and Communication Technologies; (iv) Education; (v) Finance; and (vi) Governance and Sustainability. The Forum will be predominantly forward-looking and results-oriented, and will showcase a number of projects in Africa with committed or prospective investments from China.
The third IAF will also mark the official debut of the “Investing in Africa Think Tank Alliance” (IATTA), a platform to synergize the intellectual capabilities of research centers and the capital strengths of development finance institutions to promote sustainable and inclusive development in Africa. The IATTA was initiated at the first IAF in Addis Ababa in 2015 and launched at the second IAF in Guangzhou in 2016. This year, with the signing of the MoU and the launch of its first Report on the Drivers and Constraints of Technological Adoption and Innovation that will identify knowledge gaps and propose practical policy guidance on how to spur leapfrogging in African countries, the IATTA will take practical steps to place knowledge generation and dissemination of potentially transformative ideas at the center of investment strategies and operations on the continent.
Republic of Senegal
Senegal, which will host this year’s IAF, has historically benefitted from sociopolitical stability and has recently established itself as one of the fastest growing economies on the continent. Since independence Senegal, the westernmost country in Africa, has enjoyed civilian rule, social harmony and regional influence, which coupled with solid institutional foundations and a strategic geographical location, places the country at the frontier of investment and trade opportunities in Africa. Seeking to capitalize on its assets and accelerate its growth by means of structural reforms, in 2014 the Government of Senegal launched the Plan Senegal Emergent (PSE), which is now the accepted blueprint for the country’s development, setting the objective of reaching a growth rate of 8 percent by 2018 and achieving the emerging market status by 2035. With the PSE Senegal has initiated reforms aimed at developing key economic sectors, such as agriculture, mining, energy and tourism, promoting human capital development and strengthening governance fundamentals. On the back of this nascent structural transformation and favorable economic environment, the country grew at more than 6 percent for the past two years, becoming the fourth fastest growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa. Senegal is interested in sharing its experience as well as learning from others and jointly finding new innovative ways to boost investment and cooperation on the continent.
Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China
The Ministry of Finance (MoF) of the People’s Republic of China, as the window agency and development partner to the World Bank Group, is a strong supporter and one of the founders of the Forum. MoF has taken the Forum as a unique platform to promote strategic ties between China and African countries, encourage policy dialogue and knowledge exchange, mobilize investment and facilitate trade, with an ultimate objective to support sustainable development on the continent. MoF has also strengthened collaboration with international and bilateral development agencies, think tanks and other development partners to support South-South and tripartite cooperation, particularly in Africa.
China Development Bank
The China Development Bank continues to uphold the leading role in China’s efforts to grow its overseas financing and investments. CDB strives to become a world-class development finance institution by leveraging its unrivalled position as an industry leader in medium- and long-term investment and financing, further improving the business model of development finance. As a principal supporter of China’s “Belt and Road” and “Go Global” initiatives, CDB has engaged actively in Africa for cross-border financing and investment activities, being firmly committed to the continent’s long term and sustained growth. As of the end of 2016, CDB has provided over USD 50 billion funding support to African countries with an outstanding loan balance of USD 322 billion. The China Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund), a direct investment vehicle of CDB, has financed 90 projects in 36 countries on the continent with total actual investment of over USD 3.2 billion. The Special Load for the Development of African SMEs, another financial vehicle of CDB, and CAD Fund were both adopted into the official Framework of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), as part of Johannesburg Action Plan at the 2015 FOCAC Summit held in South Africa.
World Bank Group
The World Bank Group aims to leverage its global knowledge, special financial instruments, as well as new and ongoing programs in African countries to support informed dialogue among investors, policy makers, and other development partners and catalyze private sector investment in Africa. The World Bank Group firmly believes that the private sector is central to achieving accelerated and inclusive growth. It is committed to bringing its technical expertise and innovative financial solutions to help unlock high impact private sector investments and minimize public debt, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected environments. With this objective, as part of the IDA18 replenishment, the WBG has launched a US$2.5 billion IFC-MIGA Private Sector Window, which provides pioneering IFC and MIGA products, including blended finance, local currency investment solutions, guarantees, and risk mitigation. The WBG will take the third AIF as an opportunity to present these initiatives, showcase concrete partnerships and facilitate policy dialogue aimed at promoting responsible investing practices to support sustainable African development. As appropriate, the WBG will also provide perspectives drawn from its broader global experience.
08:30 – 09:30 Arrival and Registration at CICAD; Coffee & Refreshments
09.30 – 11.15 Opening Session: Welcoming remarks
11.15 – 11.45 Signing ceremony: Signing of Agreements and MoUs
11:45 – 13:15 High-Level Panel Session
13:15 – 14:45 Working Lunch: Unpacking Chinese Investments in Africa – Perspectives from IFC
14.45 – 16.15 Session I: Addressing Energy Bottlenecks in Africa – The Role of New Technologies and Innovation
16.15 – 16.45 Coffee & Tea Break
16.45 – 18.00 Session II: Agriculture and Agribusiness - Scaling up Productivity Enhancing Technology Adoption for Africa’s Green Revolution
20.00 – 22.00 Welcome Dinner, hosted by the Government of Senegal at the Grand National Theatre of Dakar
09.00 – 10.30 Session III: ICT and Leapfrogging - Building on the Digital Revolution to Tackle African Challenges
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee & Tea Break
11.00 – 12.30 Session IV: Building Skills for the Present and the Future African Workforce - Rethinking Skill Acquisition and Education Service Delivery
12.30 – 14.00 Working Lunch: Supporting Chinese Investments in Africa – Perspectives from MIGA
14.00 – 15.30 Session V: Beyond the Traditional Financial System – Making the Best of New Technologies and Innovation
15:30 – 16:00 Coffee break
16:00 – 17:30 Session VI: Governance, Sustainability, and Service Delivery in Africa – New and Effective Ways to Deliver
16.00 – 17.30 Parallel Session: Special IATTA Roundtable
17.30 – 18.00 Closing Session: Closing Remarks by co-organizers
20.00 – 22.00 Closing dinner, hosted by China Development Bank at the Radisson Blu Hotel
09.00 – 13.00 Half-day Field Visits: Diamniadio Special Economic Zone (SEZ)