Addis Ababa, 02 May 2013 (ECA) - At this year’s May 8-10 World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, the Economic Commission for Africa will organize a joint, high level roundtable on the topic: Building Private Equity and Private Capital Markets in Africa. The roundtable will convene select regional and global private investors, government officials, policy makers and development finance experts to explore the promise and obstacles facing private capital investments in Africa.
The overall objective is to promote and accelerate private equity investments in Africa in support of its long term economic growth and development. According to the organizers, the event is expected to highlight the potential of Private Equity as an alternative source of financing investments in Africa as well as on issues surrounding deepening capital markets and the generation of growth and jobs in the continent.
Participants will also explore key opportunities existing in private equity industry in Africa and will also identify challenges affecting the growth of the industry. It will further highlight areas requiring policy action by governments so as to put the private equity industry on the path of sustainable growth.
Over the past decade Africa has experienced rapid and sustained growth. The organizers contend that as this trend continues, driven by political and economic stability, there is real promise for the continent to be an attractive destination for domestic and foreign private capital, including private equity investments.
Further, although there is evidence of increasing interest in making private equity and other alternative investments in Africa, the industry is still in its infancy and faces a number of obstacles to its development including negative perceptions about investing in Africa, an information gap about opportunities available on the continent, regulatory constraints and a shortage of talent.
The roundtable event will explore a number of key questions including:
- How can private capital (e.g. private equity) benefit Africa?
- Who are the key drivers of private capital in Africa and what are their fundamental roles, goals?
- How can the interested parties overcome the challenges facing the industry? Challenges include: finding a trusted local partner, project feasibility, fair risk-adjusted return expectations and capital markets liquidity.
- How can policymakers promote and craft regulation that fosters the responsible development of private capital markets in Africa?
The joint WEF-ECA event falls under the banner of the private and public investors sessions organized around the Forum. WEF on Africa will take place in Cape Town from 8-10 May 2013 on the theme: Delivering on Africa’s Promise.
About the World Economic Forum on Africa:
Under the theme “Delivering on Africa’s Promise”, the 23rd World Economic Forum on Africa will provide an important platform for regional and global leaders from business, government and civil society to deepen the continent’s integration agenda and renew commitment to a sustainable path of growth and development by addressing the following themes:
- Accelerating Economic Diversification
- Boosting Strategic Infrastructure
- Unlocking Africa’s Talent
With an expected annual growth of 5% in 2012-2013, sub-Saharan Africa continues its transformative journey from a developing continent to a hub of global growth. According to the World Bank, almost half of Africa’s countries have attained middle-income status. At the same time, the continent’s positive outlook is threatened by fluctuating commodity prices, rising inequality and youth unemployment. To build on its achievements, Africa’s leaders need to strengthen the continent’s competitiveness, foster inclusive growth and build resilience in a volatile global environment. Accelerating economic diversification, boosting strategic infrastructure and unlocking talent are critical success factors in this new leadership context.