JOHANNESBURG, Nov.5 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Africa Investment Forum is set to play a critical role in raising billions of dollars required to finance Africa's infrastructure and development needs, forum's organizers said on Monday.
Victor Oladokun, director of communications for the African Development Bank (AFDB), told Xinhua, "Each year, Africa has a deficit in investment funding of 130-170 billion U.S. dollars, half of that represents an infrastructure financing gap which we are trying to reach."
The Forum will take place from Wednesday to Friday in Johannesburg this week. Capital markets, investors, multilateral developmental banks and a number of partners within the private sector will screen and create deals "worth billions" to transform Africa's needs.
Oladokun regards the Forum as an innovative way of bringing investment into Africa, "We are doing this because Africa has to adopt new ways of attracting new funding." He believed that the Forum would not become just another talk shop, saying the AFDB would be able to announce concrete deals at the end of the event.
He noted that despite series challenges the continent is facing, numerous investment opportunities in the fields such as energy, infrastructure, ICT and agriculture still exist.
Chairman of Thelo group - an independent and investment company, Ronnie Ntuli, said the investment would bring players from public and private sector together.
"A big part of the drive to invest infrastructure in the continent has been driven primarily by the public sector. Private sector investment has been at natural commodities. There's an opportunity to partner between the private and public sector to create infrastructure capacity," he said.
Ntuli added, "Infrastructure, transportation and logistic and communication are critical for the development of Africa. This (forum) is very innovative and that is results oriented."