The President of the African Development Bank, Akinwumi Adesina, has urged Chinese business leaders to attend the Africa Investment Forum scheduled to take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 7-9 November 2018.
Adesina made the call while addressing delegates at the 6th Conference of Chinese and African Entrepreneurs, which took place on the sidelines of the 2018 Beijing Summit, attended by leaders from 53 African countries and China.
“I am sure you all know Africa is the place to be. African economies are growing well and the GDP growth rate is projected to average 4.1% this year,” he said.
Akinwumi had lively exchanges with high-level officials and business leaders from China, led by Vice-Premier Liu He, Governor Yi Gang of the People’s Bank of China, and the President of China Development Bank, Zheng Zhijie.
Responding to questions by China Economic News (CEN) on how China could be unique to Africa, Adesina said, “China doesn’t just promise, China delivers.”
In another interview, with China Daily, he noted: “There’s a perfect alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the ‘High 5s of the African Development Bank Group.” The Bank is already discussing with China Development Bank about formulating large-scale projects, which can fit in the both of the frameworks.”
The Bank President also described the relationship between China and Africa as a mutually reinforced partnership, noting that there are 10,000 Chinese companies and 1.3 million Chinese people throughout Africa.
Adesina cited significant trade imbalance as a challenge to be tackled. While nearly 90% of China’s exports to African countries are high-value-added products such as machinery and equipment, 75% of Africa’s exports are raw materials. He therefore called on Chinese companies to invest, and not just contract or provide loans to Africa’s public sector.
Highlighting energy and the agriculture and food sectors as opening vast opportunities and potential to China and the world, Adesina expressed hopes for a strong representation by Chinese businesses at the upcoming African Investment Forum in South Africa.
“This is not a talk-show, it is all about transactions. US$92 billion portfolios are already set on this platform,” Adesina said.