Events

The Fifth Investing in Africa Forum: Leveraging Partnerships for Economic diversification and Jobs Creation in African Economies

September 10-12, 2019

Brazzaville, Congo

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  • Diversifying Africa’s economies and creating jobs are crucial to the continent’s future. While most of the region’s economies have grown over the past two decades, the expansion has been largely driven by the commodity boom. With the world’s youngest and fastest growing population set to reach 1.3 billion people by 2030, Africa needs to create one million jobs each month to respond to increasing demands.

    The fifth IAF will examine how best to support economic diversification and jobs creation in African countries, take stock of progress and achievements, and chart a path forward. Participants will have an opportunity to share relevant experiences in leveraging private sector investment alongside public sector efforts to boost economic activity and job creation.

    Sessions will be organized around five pillars:

    -      Human Capital Development 

    -      The Digital Economy and Innovation

    -      Public-Private Partnerships and Investment Climate

    -      Industrialization and Global Value Chains and

    -      Climate-Smart Energy Solutions

    The IAF was established in 2015 as a global platform to promote multilateral cooperation and investment opportunities in Africa. Private and public sector representatives from China and Africa, international and regional institutions, development partners and think tanks come together on an annual basis to deepen policy dialogue, share experiences, and discuss business opportunities to boost investment and sustainable development in the continent.

    The first four editions of the IAF demonstrated that cooperation between China and Africa is mutually beneficial and supports countries’ development strategies. The first IAF was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in June 2015, under the theme Partnering to Accelerate Investment, Industrialization, and Results in Africa. The second IAF took place in Guangzhou, China in September 2016, and focused on Experience Sharing and Investment Promotion, Building Complementarities and Shared Prosperity. The third IAF, Leapfrogging through Innovation, took place in in Dakar, Senegal in September 2017,and made the case that business as usual would not be enough to confront the many challenges the region faces. The 2017 IAF also set the stage to catalyze a new generation of investment opportunities leveraging technology and innovation to unlock Africa’s potential. The fourth IAF, Deepening Investment Cooperation and Harnessing Innovation for Sustainable Development and Shared Prosperity, was held in Changsha in China in September 2018, and explored how to attract and mobilize private sector investments, both domestic and foreign, to transform African economies and generate much-needed jobs.

  • The Government of Republic of Congo
    Located in central Sub-Saharan Africa and along the equator, the Republic of Congo enjoys an ideal geostrategic situation that makes it the gateway to Central Africa with the port of Pointe-Noire, the first deep-water port in the sub-region. It is a lower-middle income country, possessing abundant natural resources in hydrocarbons, minerals and forestry; and significant agricultural development potential. It plays an important global role in biodiversity conservation and is one of the richest and most biologically significant forest ecosystems in the world. The tropical forests of the Congo Basin cover 61 per cent of the country's total area, the third largest forest area in Africa, making up a considerable stock of carbon. The density of the country's water system provides an untapped potential for renewable energy, particularly hydropower. After developing its basic infrastructure with the extension of its road network to ensure the integration of its territory, the Republic of Congo is trying to diversify its economy to increase the share of its industrial and agricultural sector and to reduce dependence on oil. The government launched the 2018-2022 National Development Plan (NDP) in 2018, which is based on three key pillars: (i) strengthening good governance, (ii) valuing human capital, (iii) diversifying the economy. This national development plan is divided into projects eligible for public and private fundings.  


    Ministry of Finance (MOF) of the People’s Republic of China

    The MOF of the People’s Republic of China is the window agency and key development partner of the World Bank Group. Thanks to its strong and continued support as a founding partner, the Investing in Africa Forum (IAF) is now a unique platform aimed at strengthening the strategic ties between China and African countries, encouraging policy dialogue and knowledge exchange, mobilizing investment, and facilitating trade, with the ultimate objective of supporting sustainable development in the continent. The MOF has also reinforced its collaboration with international development agencies, think tanks, and other development partners to promote South-South and Tripartite cooperation, particularly in Africa.


    The China Development Bank (CDB)

    The CDB continues to play the leading role in China’s efforts to grow its overseas financing and investments. The CDB aims to become a world-class development finance institution by leveraging its unrivaled position as an industry leader in medium- and long-term investing and financing, further improving the development finance business model. As one of the main supporters of China’s “Belt and Road” and “Go Global” initiatives, the CDB is actively engaged in African countries through cross-border financing and investment, reaffirming its commitment to the continent’s long-term and sustainable growth. By the end of 2017, the CDB had provided more than $60 billion in funding support to African countries with an outstanding loan balance of $35.8 billion. The China-Africa Development Fund (CAD Fund), a direct investment vehicle of the CDB, has financed 91 projects with more than $4.5 billion in 36 countries throughout the continent and can bring $22 billion of investment by Chinese companies. The Special Loan for the Development of African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)another of CDB’s financial vehicles, and the CAD Fund were both adopted under the framework of the Johannesburg Action Plan, at the 2015 Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) Summit held in South Africa.


    The World Bank Group
    The Bank Group aims to leverage its global knowledge, special financial instruments such as Cascading and De-risking and Maximizing Finance for Development approaches, as well as ongoing programs in African countries to support informed dialogue among investors, policy-makers, and other development partners, to catalyze private sector investment in Africa. The 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 investment and minimize public debt, particularly in fragile and conflict-affected situations. The Bank Group will take the fifth IAF as an opportunity to provide perspectives drawn from its broader global experience in Africa, present its initiatives and feature concrete partnerships that foster policy dialogue aimed at promoting responsible investing practices to support Africa’s sustainable development.

  • DAY 1 - September 10, 2019 (Time is UTC/GMT+1)

    09.00 – 12:00 Opening Session

    Introduction:

    Bienvenu Boudimbu, Presidential Adviser, Official Master of Ceremonies, Republic of Congo

    Welcoming Remarks:

    Ms. Ingrid Olga Ghislaine Ebouka Babakas, Minister of Planning, Statistics and Regional Integration, Republic of Congo and World Bank Group Governor for Congo

    Honorary speakers:  

    Mr. Jean Jacques Bouya, Minister of Spatial Planning and Major Projects, Congo

    Mr. Xu Hongcai, Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance, China

    Mr. Liu Jin, Executive Vice President, China Development Bank 

    Mr. Sergio Pimenta, World Bank Group, IFC Regional Vice President for Middle East and Africa 

    VIDEO PROJECTION: AFRICA OPEN FOR BUSINESS

    Speeches by High Personalities and Heads of States

    H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission

    H.E. Félix Tshisékédi, President, Democratic Republic of Congo

    H.E. Joao Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço, President, Angola

    H.E. Faustin Archange Touadéra, President, Central African Republic

    H.E. Paul Kagame, President, Rwanda

    H.E. Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President, Equatorial Guinea

    Opening Speech by H.E. Denis Sassou Nguesso, President, Republic Congo

    VIDEO PROJECTION: SPECIAL ECONOMIC ZONES, REPUBLIQUE DU CONGO

    12:00 – 12:30 Signing ceremony

    12:30 – 13:00 GROUP PICTURE (Heads of States and Designated Officials)

    13:00 – 14:30 High Level Roundtable “The Future of Work in an Integrated and Digitized Africa”

    Background: The future of work in Sub-Saharan Africa will look different from the rest of the world. The potential of digital technology, if harnessed effectively, will transform the nature of work for all Africans. This panel will discuss the choices and investments that need to be made by policy makers and private sector partners to pave the way for the next generation of African workers, entrepreneurs, and innovators to thrive. 

    Moderator:  

    Mr. Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist, Africa Region, World Bank  

    Speakers:  

    Mr. Jean Jacques Bouya, Minister of Spatial Planning and Major Projects, Congo

    Mr Sergio Pimenta, World Bank Group, IFC Regional Vice President for Middle East and Africa

    Mr. Zhou Yuxiao, Ambassador of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China

    Mr. Alex Segura, Mission Chief for Congo, International Monetary Fund

    Mr. Abebe Hailey-Gabriel, Assistant Director-General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, FAO 

    Mr. Lassané Kabore, Minister of Economy, Finance and Development, Burkina Faso 

    Ms. Rima Le Coguic, Director Africa, Agence Française de Développent (AFD), France

    Ms. Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, UNECA 

    Ms. Recheal Blankson, Blog4Dev 2019, Ghana 

    14:30 – 15:30 Working Lunch: Supporting Investments in Africa: Perspectives from IFC

    Chair:  

    Mr. Sergio Pimenta, World Bank Group, IFC Regional Vice President for Middle East and Africa 

    Moderator: 

    Mr. Aliou Maiga, Director for West and Central Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC) 

    Speakers: 

    Mr. Ibrahima Abe Diallo, Head of “Bourse de Sous-Traitance et de Partenariats” - BSTP, Guinea

    Mr. Tony Chan, SUNDA

    Mr. John Irungu Ngahu, Operations Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC) 

    Ms. Mehita Fanny Sylla, Country Manager, Representative - Pays Central Africa Sud Region, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    15:30 – 17:00 Session I: Human Capital Development

    Background: Sub-Saharan Africa lags in most indicators of human capital, and estimates show that the continent is operating at only 40 percent of its potential despite recent progress on health and education indicators. At the same time, a notable skills gap hinders countries’ competitiveness in the global economy. This session will focus on where to invest, not only to bridge the gap in basic services, but also to help people become innovators, entrepreneurs, leaders and empowered citizens, no matter their income level. It will examine the scope for knowledge exchange and collaboration between African countries, China, and the rest of the world on key institutional, regulatory, and technological reforms. 

    Moderator: 

    Mr. Steven Shalita, Manager, Africa External Relations (ECR), World Bank 

    Panelists:  

    Mr. Amit Dar, Regional Director, Human Development Global Practice Group, World Bank 

    Mr. Antoine Nicéphore Thomas Fylla de Saint-Eudes, Minister of Technical and Professional Education, Skills Training and Employment, Republic of Congo 

    Margaret Malu, Deputy Regional Director for Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean States Region for the United Nations World Food Program (WFP)

    Mr. Xu Xiaodong, Vice President, China International Intellectech Corporation Ltd, Co., China 

    Mr. Randall Riopelle, Senior Manager for China, Korea and Mongolia, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    Mr. Philipp Krause, Senior Advisor, the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, BMGF, United of States

    Mr. Patrick Kabisi, Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa, Democratic Republic of Congo

    Dr. Cristabel Ngwashi (Blog4Dev 2019, Cameroon)

    Mr. Abubakar Suleiman, Chief Executive Officer, Sterling Bank Plc., Nigeria

    17:00 – 18:30 Session II: Digital Revolution, Innovations and the New Service Economy

    Background: Digital technologies can unlock new pathways for economic growth, innovation, participation, job creation and access to services in Africa. New technologies can help Africa tap directly into the US$11.5 trillion global digital economy. This session will examine ways to build the foundations of a thriving digital economy —including digital infrastructure and platforms, digital financial services, and an environment that is supportive of digital entrepreneurship— and to mitigate risks including cybersecurity, data privacy and protection and market concentration.

    Moderator: 

    Mr. Steven Shalita, Manager, Africa External Relations (ECR), World Bank 

    Panelists: 

    Mr. Yves Castanou, General Manager of the Regulatory Agency for Posts and Electronic Communications, Republic of Congo 

    Mr. Michel Rogy, Practice Manager, Digital Development, Infrastructure Practice Group, World Bank

    Mr. Karim Sy, President of Digital Africa Initiative

    Mr. Verone Mankou, Founder, Vox Medias Congo, Republic of Congo 

    Mr. Zhang Jianyu, General Manager, BSCA Bank, China 

    Mr. Abasi Ene-Obong, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of 54Genes, BioBanking, Nigeria

    Mr. Karim Koundi, Partner at the International Audit & Consulting Firm Deloitte, France

    Mr. Amour-Freddy Bilombo, Blog4Dev 2019, Republic of Congo

    19:00 – 21:30 Welcome Dinner, hosted by the Government of the Republic of Congo

    DAY 2 – September 11, 2019

    09:00 – 09:30 Introduction

    Mr. Bienvenu Boudimbu, Presidential Adviser, Official Master of Ceremonies, Republic of Congo

    Honorary Speaker:

    H.E. Macky Sall, President, Republic of Senegal

    09:30 – 11:00 Session III: Public and Private Partnerships and Investment Climate

    Background: Infrastructure is an indispensable foundation for growth and connectivity. Africa’s infrastructure gaps are large and financing gap is estimated at $US 68-108 billion per annum, even though the continent has abundant sources of renewable energy, including solar and hydro. Public-private partnerships are therefore essential for financing the provision of these public goods. This session will examine the opportunities for PPPs in building Africa’s infrastructure as well as the efficient delivery of public services. The session will also highlight examples of African countries which have created a conducive environment for private investment by undertaking a range of business-friendly reforms that are necessary for a successful Public Private Partnership. 

    Moderator: 

    Ms. Elizabeth Tchoungui, Journalist, Producer, TV Host and Writer 

    Panelists:

    Mr. Amadou Hott, Minister of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, Senegal

    Ms. Soraya Hakuziyaremye, Minister of Trade and Industry, Rwanda

    Mr. Zhang Zhiqing, Deputy Director-General, Foreign Capital Utilization Department, National Development and Reform Commission, China

    Ms. Yang Baohua, Chairwoman, China Africa Development Fund, CAD-Fund, China 

    Mr. Kay Parplies, Head of Unit – Investment and Innovative Financing, Directorate-General International Cooperation & Development, European Commission

    Mr. Alain Ebobissé, Chief Executive Officer, Africa50 

    Mr. Stefan Rajaonarivo, Senior Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC) 

    Mr. Wenhe Zhang, Senior Underwriter, Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)

    Mr. Jeremy Riro, Blog4Dev 2016, Kenya

    Mr. Maleye Diop, Resident Representative for the Republic of Congo, United Nations Development Program (UNDP)

    11:00 – 11:15 Coffee & Tea Break 

    11:15 – 12:45 Session IV: Industrialization and Global Value Chains

    Background: Industrialization is necessary for Africa’s transformation, and yet since 2008, the share of manufacturing in the GDP of Sub-Saharan African economies has stagnated around 10%, and more than 80% of employment is created in low-productivity sectors. At the same time, despite vast agricultural potential, Africa has remained a net importer of agricultural products, with an annual food import bill of around US$40 billion. The session will explore ways to tap into China and other countries’ experience and mobilize private investments to establish a competitive and climate-resilient agriculture sector. It will also discuss new industrialization strategies that take stock of past mistakes in the continent and successful stories in Eastern and South Asia, while addressing new opportunities and challenges brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution and today’s global economic environment. 

    Moderator: 

    Ms. Elizabeth Tchoungui, Journalist, Producer, TV Host and Writer 

    Panelists:

    M. Gilbert Ondongo, Minister of State, Minister of Economy, Industry and Public Portfolio, Republic of Congo 

    Aliou Maiga, Director for West and Central Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC)

    Mr. Diego Arias, Lead Agriculture Economist, World Bank

    Mr. Liu Yong, Chief Economist, China Development Bank (CDB), China 

    Ms. Li Zhiping, Deputy Director-General, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Economy, China

    Ms. Donata Garrasi, Director of Political Affairs in the Office of the Special Envoy of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary General for the Great Lakes region, UN

    Ms. Musopa Kalenga, Blog4Dev 2019, Zambia

    Mr. Cheng Fubo, Vice President, Commercial Aircraft Corporation Ltd., China

    Mr. Dejene Tezera, Director of Agribusiness Development Department, United Nations Industrial Development Organization 

    12:45 – 14:15 Lunch

    14:15 – 16:00 Session V: Climate Smart Energy Solutions

    Background: A prerequisite for powering productive economies and creating jobs in African countries is access to modern and sustainable energy services. Given the continent’s growing population and demand for energy, it will take innovative solutions and partnership to provide affordable, quality energy to fuel the economy, create jobs and mitigate the impacts of climate change. The session will explore China and other countries’ experience with climate-smart energy policies and opportunities for the World Bank to leverage institutional and private investors in transforming Africa’s energy sector.

    Moderator: 

    Mr. Steven Shalita, Manager, Africa External Relations (ECR), World Bank 

    Panelists:  

    Mr. Bruno Jean Richard Itoua, Minister of Higher Education, Republic of Congo

    Mr. Racine Kane, Deputy Director General for Central Africa, African Development Bank (AfDB)

    Mr. Ian Crosby, Principal Investment Officer, International Finance Corporation (IFC) 

    Mr. Christian De Gromard, Senior Expert, Department « Energy and Digital Transition, Agence Française de Développent (AFD), France

    Mr. Long Jisheng, Chairman, SUS Environment, China 

    Ms. Martha Wakoli, Blog4Dev, Kenya

    Mr. Sidy Diop, Directeur, Deloitte Economic Advisory, France

    Mr. Michael Konadu, Commercial Growth Director, GE Power Africa, GE Power Africa, United States

    Mr. Issa Diaw, Program Leader, Infrastructure, World Bank Group

    16:00 – 16:30 Coffee & Tea Break 

    16:30 – 17:30 Closing Session

    Chair:

    Ms. Ingrid Olga Ghislaine Ebouka-Babakas, Minister of Planning, Statistics and Regional Integration, Republic of Congo, and World Bank Group Governor for Congo

    Honorary speakers:  

    Mr. Xu Hongcai, Vice Minister, Ministry of Finance, China

    Mr. Liu Jin, Executive Vice President, China Development Bank 

    Mr. Sergio Pimenta, World Bank Group, IFC Regional Vice President for Middle East and Africa

    Mr. Jean Claude Tchatchouang, Executive Director, Africa Group II, World Bank

    Mr. Jean Jacques Bouya, Minister of Spatial Planning and Major Projects, Congo 

    17:30 – 18:00 Press Conference 

    Moderator: 

    Sylvain Elenga, Journalist 

    Speakers:

    Mr. Jean Jacques Bouya, Minister of Spatial Planning and Major Projects, Congo

    Mr. Jean Christophe Carret, Country Director for Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo and Central African Republic, World Bank

    Mr. Liu Yong, Chief Economist, China Development Bank, China 

    18:00 – 20:00 Closing Dinner, hosted by China Development Bank

    Moderator:

    Ms. Yang Baohua, Chairman, CAD Fund

    Speakers: 

    Mr. Ma Fulin, Chinese Ambassador to the Republic of Congo

    Mr. Liu Jin, Executive Vice President, China Development Bank

    Mr. Wu Guohua, Deputy Director General, China Development Bank

    Mr. Zhou Chao, Vice President, CAD Fund

    DAY 3 – September 12, 2019

    09:00 – 13:00 Field visits (three itineraries proposed by the Government of Congo)

    Maloukou Special Economic Zone

    Université Sassou Nguesso

    Les cataractes (Site touristique)

  • Question: What is the Investing in Africa Forum and why hold it in Brazzaville?

    The Investing in Africa Forum (IAF) was established in 2015 as a global platform to promote multilateral cooperation and investment opportunities in Africa. It is intended to be an annual multi-stakeholder gathering, bringing together representatives of the public and private sectors from China and Africa, international and regional institutions, development partners, and think tanks to deepen development policy dialogue, share experiences, and discuss business opportunities to promote and support investment and sustainable development on the continent.

    The IAF is held once a year, alternating between Africa and China. The first and third editions were held, respectively, in East Africa (Ethiopia, 2015) and West Africa (Senegal, 2017), while the second and fourth were held in China (2016 and 2018). The Congolese Government (in Central Africa) offered to host the fifth edition. 

    Question: The IAF is in its fifth year. What have been the outcomes of the previous editions? What lessons have been learned?

    The first four editions of the IAF demonstrated that cooperation between Africa, China, and the rest of the world is mutually beneficial and supports countries’ development strategies. Hence the need to strengthen this dynamic by ensuring, on one hand, that participation in the forum is of a high quality and, on the other hand, that the issues tackled reflect the development priorities of Africa and its partners.

    Some specific examples:

    • In the context of education partnerships signed during the 2017 and 2018 forums, a regular exchange mechanism was established, the Africa-China-World Bank Education Partnership Forum, focused on higher education, science, and technology. Subsequently, African delegations (including from Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, and Lesotho) traveled to Shanghai to discuss cooperation in the areas of mathematics, science, and teacher training. Institutional and industrial partnerships were developed among the Africa Centers of Excellence (ACE) to develop joint research and  degree programs.

    • A memorandum of understanding regarding the Investing in Africa Think Tank Alliance (IATTA), signed by the World Bank, the Ministry of Finance of the People’s Republic of China, the China Development Bank, and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), placed knowledge generation and dissemination at the heart of investment strategies and operations on the continent. The IATTA’s first flagship report, Drivers and Constraints of Technological Adoption and Innovation, identified knowledge gaps and proposed practical policy guidance on how to spur leapfrogging in African countries. This report, covering agriculture, education, energy, finance, governance, and information and communication technologies, demonstrated that providing a boost will be critical to help Africa create much-needed jobs for its youth.

    Question: What will be unique or particularly valuable about the IAF that will be held in Brazzaville, as opposed to previous editions?

    The key unique feature of the forum is the theme addressed this year, stated as follows: “Leveraging partnerships for economic diversification and job creation in African economies.” Through this theme, the forum will examine how best to support economic diversification and job creation in African countries, take stock of progress and achievements, and chart a path forward. Participants will have an opportunity to share relevant experiences in leveraging private sector investment alongside public sector efforts to boost economic activity and job creation.

    Diversifying Africa’s economies and creating jobs are crucial to the continent’s future.  While most of the economies in Sub-Saharan Africa have experienced sustained growth over the past two decades, the expansion has been largely driven by the commodity boom.  With the world’s youngest and fastest growing population, set to reach 1.3 billion people by 2030, Africa needs to create one million jobs each month to respond to increasing demands.

    Question: Who is organizing the IAF and who finances the event? 

    Every year, the IAF is co-organized by the host government, the Ministry of Finance of China, the China Development Bank, and the World Bank Group. It is entirely financed by the China Development Bank and the World Bank. The host government is responsible for certain logistical aspects, such as the conference site. Participants in the forum are responsible for all expenses relating to their participation (travel, hotels, etc.).

    Question: What is the role of each partner?

    Each partner’s roles and responsibilities were defined using detailed specifications that were established in collaboration with the Congolese authorities during a preliminary joint mission organized by the World Bank Group (WBG) and a Chinese delegation from May 13-17, 2019 in Brazzaville. (See the preceding paragraph.)

    The World Bank Group’s support consists in offering the forum and its participants the benefit of our global expertise in terms of the themes and issues that will be addressed and in sharing our worldwide experience. The themes chosen generally relate to improvement of the business climate, and the promotion of industrial best practices and the investments necessary for development in Africa. The World Bank Group is also responsible for communication with and mobilization of the national and international private sector in conjunction with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector arm of the World Bank. 

    Question: Who is invited to the IAF and what are the terms of participation?

    Participation in the IAF is strictly by invitation. The IAF is intended to be an annual multi-stakeholder gathering, bringing together representatives of the public and private sectors from China and Africa, international and regional institutions, development partners, and think tanks. In light of the issues addressed at the forum, the organizers strive to ensure that participation is effective and of a very high quality. Participants are expected to contribute to deepening development policy dialogue, share experiences, and discuss business opportunities to boost investment and sustainable development on the African continent.

    Question: Will Heads of State be attending the IAF?

    The forum will welcome high-level officials capable of helping elevate the level of discourse and contributing to the event’s success. The presence of Heads of State attests to the ownership of the forum and the importance accorded by the Africa’s highest authorities to the socioeconomic development of the continent. It also demonstrates that the issues tackled by the IAF respond to the continent's top priorities.

    Question: Are civil society organizations also invited?

    The IAF does not exclude anyone. Given the theme selected this year, “Leveraging partnerships for economic diversification and job creation in African economies,” the forum elected to focus on a particular category of stakeholders, the private sector, in light of its key role in economic diversification and job creation. However, this in no way detracts from the important and valuable contribution of civil society organizations to the vitality of  African societies.

    Question: Why focus on the private sector and how will its participation in the IAF be ensured?

    The private sector is the key to accelerated and inclusive growth. It seeks to offer its technical expertise and innovative financial solutions to promote high-impact private investment and minimize public debt as much as possible, especially in fragile and conflict-affected environments. With support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), its private sector arm, the World Bank Group will mobilize national and international economic operators and take advantage of this fifth IAF to present lessons learned from its international experience in Africa, explain its initiatives, and illustrate the practical cooperation that facilitates dialogue on public policies with the goal of promoting responsible investment practices geared toward achieving sustainable development in Africa.

    Question: Does the IAF have other partners, apart from the World Bank, China, CDB and the host country? 

    The IAF is inclusive and brings together other partners coming from Europe and the United States to take part in the forum in Brazzaville.  The real value-added of the partners rests in their ability to deepen development policy dialogue, share their experiences, and discuss business opportunities to boost investment and sustainable development on the African continent. It is at this critical level that partners are expected to participate and make a meaningful contribution to the success of the IAF. From this perspective, this year the IAF is bringing together 400 representatives of the public and private sectors in China, Africa, and the rest of the world; international and regional institutions; development partners; and think tanks.

    Question: The IAF agenda includes the signing of agreements during the opening ceremony. Which ones? At what level of financial commitment? Will there be agreements for the private sector?

    Beyond the agreements signed, the IAF is a global platform for promoting multilateral cooperation and investment opportunities in Africa. It is a unique opportunity for networking and building short-, medium-, and long-term partnerships that private operators should be able to fully leverage. The opportunities offered by the IAF are between non-African and Africa-based companies, as well as between non-African companies and African governments via viable and well-structured private-public partnerships (PPPs). Well-structured partnerships include a thorough assessment of the fiscal cost of the PPPs, preventing countries from unexpected cost burden in the long term. Africa’s countries need to accelerate business regulatory reforms to support private sector development and improve domestic revenue mobilization in addition to strengthening their debt management. Improving their debt management capabilities and systems will enhance transparency and help stabilize their economy in the long-term.

    Question: What are the expected outcomes of the IAF?

    The key expected outcome of the IAF is, first, participation. That it is effective, meaning that the 400 invited participants actually attend. Next, that the discussions are of a high quality, that they help enrich the dialogue around the five priority pillars identified, namely: (i) human capital development; (ii) the digital economy and innovation; (iii) public-private partnerships and the investment climate; (iv) industrialization and global value chains; and (v) climate-smart energy solutions. Last, but not least, with respect to the third anticipated outcome, it is obviously important that concrete partnerships are developed around these various themes to ensure the effective economic development of the African continent.

    Question: What will be the specific benefits of the IAF for the host country, the Republic of Congo?

    The Republic of Congo can reap multiple benefits from the IAF. By hosting experts from around the world and being the epicenter of discussions about economic development in Africa for two days, the Republic of Congo will benefit from global experiences that will help refine implementation of its national development plan. The Congolese private sector will seize the opportunity to develop relationships that promote future investment and support its expansion, which will further boost job creation and contribute to the country’s socioeconomic development.

Details

  • DATE: September 10-12, 2019
  • TIME: Forum Events 9 am – 5 pm (UTC/GMT+1)