Indian investors interested in investing in Africa have been assured by African Development Bank (AfDB) of a fertile ground for business growth.
This was part of a recent virtual conference hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and its partners, in an arrangement by Indian government to promote Indo-African partnerships and encouragement of government and private sector relationship in Africa.
The Conference had the theme ‘Innovative Financing Mechanisms for Doing Business with Africa’ and attracted over 600 participants from over 45 countries.
Participants from the Middle East, Europe, and Asia, representing businesses, governments, financial institutions, and business promotion agencies also on the virtual discourse.
In his remarks, India’s Additional Secretary in the Ministry of External Affairs, Akhilesh Mishra, urged the private sector to look into investing in youth and startups emphasizing that those sectors have enormous potential for employment generation. He noted that, aside from the long-term funding traditionally provided as official development assistance, African countries will require more targeted short-term financing.
Also responding was the Acting Senior Vice President and CFO of the African Development Bank Group Bajabulile Swazi Tshabalala,who gave details of business potentials in Africa with emphasis on great prospects for investors, with a growing consumer market that Indian firms cannot afford to miss.
“The positive outlook for Africa is reinforced by the establishment of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) (https://bit.ly/3as7sxU), which seeks to deepen regional integration across the continent and allow the free movement of people and trade across borders,” Tshabalala added.
According to Tshabalala, there is a tremendous opportunity for Indian industry to work together with the Bank in sectors such as power generation and transmission, energy, agricultural transformation, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, technology, transportation, and industrialization.
David Rasquinha, Managing Director of the Export-Import Bank of India, underscored the need to expand Indian financial inflows to Africa by expanding the Indian banking network. He said India and Africa could work together in areas such as healthcare and pharmaceuticals, the financial sector and infrastructure development.
Recall that the Bank is seeking to expand the number of bankable projects in Africa and has set aside $100 million for project preparation activities in low-income countries.