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PRESS RELEASE September 10, 2019

Fifth Investing in Africa Forum: Leveraging Partnerships for Economic Diversification and Jobs Creation in African economies

BRAZZAVILLE, September 10, 2019 - The fifth edition of the Investing in Africa Forum (IAF5) kicked off today in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, on the theme: "Leveraging partnerships for economic diversification and jobs creation in African economies". Organized jointly by the Government of the Republic of the Congo, the Ministry of Finance of the People's Republic of China, the Chinese Development Bank and the World Bank Group, the forum brings together over 500 participants from the private and public sectors in China and Africa, international and regional institutions, development partners and think tanks. For two days, they will share their experiences and discuss opportunities to stimulate investment and sustainable development in sub-Saharan Africa.

"Investing in Africa remains one of the keys to the development of the African continent, which should not be condemned to stagnation. Africa therefore needs infrastructure, initiatives and services that are prerequisites for laying the foundations for its development. Otherwise, how else can we develop our countries without electricity, without viable channels and means of communication, without information and communication technologies? But, above all, how can we access all these services with our limited resources? » said His Excellency Denis Sassou Nguesso, President of the Republic of Congo, at the opening ceremony, also attended by presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda, Faustin Archange Touadéra of Central African Republic, Joao Manuel Gonçalves Lourenço of Angola, Félix Tshisekedi of Democratic Republic of Congo and Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission.

The forum resulted in the signing of several memoranda of understanding (MOUs) on structuring projects in sectors as diverse as energy, small and medium enterprises development, regional economic integration, infrastructure and environment.

"Amid unprecedented changes in the world today, China will use the Investing in Africa Forum as a platform and work closely with African countries to strengthen collaboration in development strategy and project financing, share development experience and implement the eight actions agreed at the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. China will also work with the World Bank and other international financial institutions to develop tripartite cooperation with Africa, promote South-South cooperation and boost diversified and sustainable development in Africa", said Vice Minister Xu Hongcai of China's Ministry of Finance.

The forum focuses on five key areas identified by African countries as their main development priorities, namely: (i) human capital development; (ii) digital economy; (iii) improving the business climate; (iv) industrialization and global value chains; and (v) climate-smart energy solutions. These themes are closely linked to the World Bank Group's strategy for Africa, which aims to accelerate poverty reduction and shared prosperity.

“Barriers to progress can only be brought down when African countries are in the lead and global partners are at the table.” said Mr Hafez Ghanem, World Bank’s Vice-president for the Africa Region. “We are committed to working closely with our partners in Africa to attract more sustainable private sector investment that benefits Africans first and foremost.”

The forum highlights many opportunities between non-African and African companies, as well as between non-African companies and African governments through viable public-private partnerships. It also addresses investment constraints and promotes sound macroeconomic management and reforms to improve the business climate in African countries.

Private sector investment can be a driving force in Africa’s development, especially when the necessary public policies are in place to channel these investments in the right direction”, said Mr. Sérgio Pimenta, Vice-president for Middle East and Africa, International Finance Corporation (IFC). “IFC works with private investors in Africa to ensure that their resources and expertise help create jobs, spark innovation and promote inclusive growth ».

The Investing in Africa Forum is a global platform for multilateral cooperation to increase investment in Africa. Since its establishment in 2015, it has enjoyed the strong support of African countries. The interest and participation of international partners has also increased over the years. The forum is mainly forward-looking and results-oriented. It has helped to strengthen cooperation and partnerships between African countries, Chinese investors and other international investors. It registers successes, innovative ideas and tangible progress in specific cooperation projects.

The IAF is organized each year alternately in China and in African. The four previous editions were held in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), Guangzhou (China), Dakar (Senegal) and Changsha (China) respectively.