Q&A with Paul Sinclair, TGAIS Event Director
The first edition of The Global African Investment Summit was a huge success, what is the summit doing that is new for 2015?
The 2014 Summit was a resounding success and the Global African Investment Summit is now an established platform for investors to originate both Public and Private Sector projects. Over the course of the Summit cycle, we learnt a lot about the investment landscape of the continent and what the bottlenecks are with regards to deal flow and fund allocation in Africa.
One of the key focus points we have learnt from the investment community is how the Summit can support in project origination in the African Private sector. As a result, we have partnered with some key organizations across the continent to ensure the Summit is hosting a 200+ delegation of African private sector businesses looking for expansion capital.
We are delighted to announce partnerships with the IOE (International Organization of Employers) and Business Africa who are supporting in bringing the African Private sector to the Summit.
We are also delighted to announce the new 2015 Summit Entrepreneurship Programme which is being chaired by President Olusegun Obasanjo and Mr. Aliko Dangote. The Programme will host 10 of the most attractive African private sector businesses looking for international partners and investors for expansion.
The Entrepreneurship Programme offers a unique opportunity for Private Equity, Venture Capitalist and Angel Investors to get direct access to the most compelling private sector investment opportunities in Africa.
Has the Summit achieved its objective of stimulating transaction and deal flow?
Yes! Since the 2014 October event, the Summit has resulted in over 30 bilateral meetings between investors and African governments and transaction has taken place. We have seen investors make commitments to go in country to broker partnerships and we are aware that MOUs and deals have been signed.
The above said, we know factually that the event delivered on its commitment not be a talk shop but to deliver actual results.
Who attends the Summit? Is it the usual protagonists speaking about the continent, or can we expect something new?
Along with the Presidential keynotes, the audience is the differentiator when it comes to the unique nature of the Summit. The 2015 Summit (1-2 December) will boast some US$300Billion dollars of managed funds over the course of two days. That is a phenomenal amount of potential funding for Africa and it goes to highlight the high-level nature of the audience.
The Summit will host over 50 of the most prominent family offices across the globe, along with the most prolific Private Equity firms, Investment Banks, Sovereign Wealth Funds, Pension Funds, Venture Capitalists, Angel Investors and Insurance companies.
This year we will also host a 200+ delegation of African companies attending to source international partners for expansion. In short, this Summit will host the most active and influential investors and project owners looking to develop new business opportunities.
With so many African Summits, are you different to the usual narrative regarding the continent?
Yes, I have personally specified that the phrase ‘Africa Rising’ is not used in our Summit. I think the narrative of Africa rising is a bad reflection on an upwardly mobile continent already on the move. Over the last year I have travelled to Lilongwe, Lagos, Accra, Jo`burg, Kampala, Kigali and many more major cities, and in each, the Private sector is booming, the Governments are doing wonderful work to increase the investment landscape of their economy and the necessary frameworks are in place to drive growth.
I am aware of projects being realized in affordable housing, biomass, water sanitation and insurance as a result of the Summit. We are different; we don’t offer a narrative on Africa and impose opinions on how the international community can offer advisory! The Summit isn’t really a conference – it is a business platform that brokers business relationships and acts as a conduit for deal flow and investment allocation into Africa!
There are a number of Presidents on your schedule. What does this bring to the event?
Having Presidents’ commitment to keynote demonstrates the support that we have built in Africa. These leaders want their country to showcase the competitive nature of their economy to attract global investment. The international markets are becoming more competitive and African governments understand that whilst rich in opportunity, they must also be strong as an investment destination.
Not only do the Governments come with a delegation of 20+ ministers and CEOs of Parastatals, they also come with private sector representatives who are looking for investment into both greenfield and brownfield projects. This again provides a unique opportunity for investors. Whether investors are looking for projects in the public or private sector, you can meet and develop relationships with a variety of bankable projects.
Why are you holding an Africa event in London?
London is the world’s financial hub and has been a historical center of world trade for centuries; if you want to promote investment you come to where the money is. We knew we had the African leaders and Governments ready to showcase the opportunities in their countries and we wanted to maximize the audience of investors and corporations. African Governments know that their countries have never been seen more favorably by the investment community, and they want to grasp this opportunity with both hands. London is still the best place in the world to do this.
For further details, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +44 (0)203 772 6083.
Event Name: Global African Investment Summit 2015
Dates: 1-2 December 2015
Venue: Central Hall Westminster, London, UK