Jim O'Neil, Okonjo-Iweala, Nebo, Elumelu For AFC Summit

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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BEVERLY HILLS, March 11, (THEWILL) - All is set for the inaugural summit of the Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) scheduled to address the scale of Africa's infrastructure requirements and investment deficit.

The World Bank estimates Africa's infrastructure deficit at US$38 billion of investment per year, with a further US$37 billion per year required in operations and maintenance.

This represents 12 per cent of Africa's current GDP.

The summit, entitled: 'AFC Live: Bridging the Infrastructure Divide', is borne out of the need to open a dialogue to address the scale of Africa's infrastructure requirements and its investment deficit, which is conservatively estimated at over US$40 billion per annum over the next 10 years.

Organisers of the summit, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), an African-led multilateral development financial institution, in a statement on issued on Monday by the Africa Press Organisation (APO), said it aims to improve African economies by proactively developing and financing infrastructure assets.

Confirmed as speakers at the summit are the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr.

Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Minister of Power; Prof.
Chinedu Nebo; Jim O'Neill, the economist and former Chairman of Goldman Sachs Asset Management; Hon.

Patrick Achi, Minister of Economic Infrastructure, Côte d'Ivoire; Hon.

Cristina Duarte, Minister of Finance, Cape Verde; Mr.

Jim Yong Cai, Executive Vice President and CEO, International Finance Corporation; and Mr.

Tony Elumelu, Chairman Heirs Holdings.
The summit which is billed to hold on March 25 at the Eko Hotel & Suites, Lagos, will also bring together African politicians, business leaders and academics at a series of lively panel discussions.

These leaders include Ms.
Diana Layfield, CEO Africa, Standard Chartered Bank; Dr.

Nkosana Moyo, Mandela Institute for Development Studies and Ms.

Funke Opeke, CEO Main One.
The summit which is termed a must attend event for audiences interested in Africa's infrastructure challenges, will discuss issues such as Africa's need to take the lead in bridging the investment divide whilst also accessing international capital as part of a holistic approach.

Key sessions at the summit will include: Building the New Africa action plan for the next decade'.

Panel one will take on the 'power sector', Panel two to dwell on 'transport sector' while Panel three will take on 'natural resources'.

Speaking on the event, Chairman of AFC, Bayo Ogunlesi , said; "The summit is a key opportunity for a broad range of stakeholders, from national governments to the indigenous and international private sector and donor partners, to contribute to the development of constructive solutions to the deficit in infrastructure investment in Africa which continues to hold back economic growth on the continent.

" He said; "The Africa Finance Corporation is committed to serving as a catalyst for growth in infrastructure development in Africa, by focusing on investments in the sectors that are critical to economic growth on the continent and attracting new investment partners and country members.

" Speaking in the same vein, one of the guest panelists to the summit, Jim O'Neill, expressed delight that he will participate in the AFC's inaugural summit which promises to address an important agenda.

"If Africa is to reach its potential as the home to some of the fastest-growing economies in the world, then infrastructure will play a vital role in making that happen", he said.

He disclosed that "This conference provides an excellent opportunity to gather some of the most important figures in the region in order to discuss how this can be achieved.

" According to him, "The AFC plays not just a vital role in brokering these discussions but also in financing and advising some of most transformative infrastructure projects on the continent.