BY Onome Amuge.
The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has called on American businesses to invest in the opportunities created by the bank’s $1.5bn African Emergency Food Production Facility, established to curb the impact of the current global food crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The AfDB’s facility, recognised as the first of its kind, is expected to help African countries purchase and distribute agricultural fertilszer and seeds, provide emergency support over four planting seasons, increase food production by 30 percent, and create $12bn worth of food.
Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB president, while speaking in the US-Africa Business Summit held in Marrakech, Morocco, urged American investors to see Africa as a logical investment destination where they can engage in win-win partnerships.
Adesina, who confirmed that U.S. investments were critical for accelerating infrastructure development on the world’s second largest continent by population and size, also gave a strong assurance to the investors that Africa is a secure, competitive and profitable market for investment.
“This is an opportune time for American investments in Africa, at scale. Tomorrow cannot wait. Africa’s time is now. Africa’s future is bright. We are open for business, and we welcome you with wide open arms,” Adesina said.
The US-Africa Business Summit was organised by the U.S. Corporate Council on Africa in partnership with Morocco.
The summit, under the theme ‘Building Forward Together’, brought together global investors and corporate executives. The event was attended by dignitaries and global leaders including President Mokgweetsi Masisi of Botswana and Kamala Harris, the U.S. vice president, who addressed delegates via a video message.
Other dignitaries included Nasser Bourita, Morocco’s minister of foreign affairs, African cooperation and Moroccan expatriates; Alice Albright, CEO of the United States Millennium Challenge Corporation; Chakib Ali, president of the General Confederation of Moroccan Enterprises; and Nardos Bekele-Thomas, CEO of the African Union Development Agency (NEPAD).
The event also involved over 400 business and government representatives who discussed building stronger U.S. and Africa trade, investment and commercial ties.