The Africa Finance & Investment Forum was officially opened by Prof Monty Jones, EMRC President, alongside Bruno Wenn, CEO of DEG (Deutsche Investitions – und Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH), in front of a crowd of 200 plus participants coming from across Africa and beyond, in the DEG headquarters in Cologne on 4th June 2014.
“This is a critical moment for the African continent. We need to explore the best means to ensure that the continent’s private sector can suitably access finance – each and every sector depends on access to finance in order to grow. Without this, there is not growth,” Prof Monty Jones said. “This gathering is therefore significant for everyone working with and in Africa. Lets find solutions that can help us grow.”
Entitled ‘Financing Business Opportunities’ the Forum’s first day spotlighted innovative solutions for access to finance and promoting global trade networks and trade relations between South-South and North-South amongst other related topics.
The likes of Babacar Ndiaye, former & Honorary President of the African Development Bank, Luiz Eduardo Melin, Managing Director of the Development Bank of Brazil (BNDES) and Bamanga Tukur, President of the African Business Roundtable addressed the audience alongside many other financial experts.
The afternoon session saw the three nominees for the EMRC Project Incubator Award present their business projects to the audience. Ismael Yameogo representing Maam Expertise from Burkina Faso, Jacques Mabanza head of Fonds d’Actions Mutuelles of the Congo and Magloire N’ Dakon from Extend Finance of the Ivory Coast gave the audience a breakdown of what they had so far achieved and what they were planning to do with the potential cash prize of US$15,000.
Magloire N’ Dakon from Extend Finance of the Ivory Coast was eventually crowned the winner during the networking evening with the select committee highlighting the project’s sustainability and the role it provided in promoting job creation and income creation.
In addition to the Project Incubator Award, approximately 600 B2B meetings took place over the space of two hours as participants sat down and discussed their individual needs and business opportunities with potential donors and investors.
AFIF2014 partners also include: BNDES (Bank of Development of Brazil); AFREXIMBANK; EIB (European Investment Bank); ICD (Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector;)IFC (World Bank); UN/WTO – International Trade Centre; ADC (African Development Corporation); Delta State (Nigeria); Shell Foundation and the German Trade/Business organizations AfrikaVerein and SAFRI (Southern Africa Initiative of German Business).
EMRC’s approach to grow and strengthen Africa’s private sector is in parallel with DEG’s policy to promote business initiative in developing and emerging market countries by making long-term financing and advice available to private enterprises investing in these countries.
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