African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina has called on Korean investors to seize untapped investment opportunities in Africa, especially in the energy and agriculture sectors.

“Africa is a continent that cannot be ignored by investors,” Dr Adesina said at a business forum attended by CEOs of Korean corporations, heads of financial institutions as well as ministers and business leaders from Africa.

The business forum was held at the 7th Korea-Africa Economic Cooperation Ministerial Conference, held in Korea’s second-largest city, Busan.

Dr Adesina highlighted the potential for Africa to become a leading market frontier, boasting enormous potential in agriculture and renewable energy sources.

The bank chief assured Korean investors, “Africa is not as risky as you hear. It is a continent of opportunities, waiting to be tapped.”  He cited Moody’s analysis of global infrastructure default rates which shows that the continent rank better at 5.5 percent, compared with 8.5 percent in Asia and 13 percent in Latin America.

The African Development Bank uses partial risk and credit guarantees to reduce the risks faced by the private sector.

Dr Adesina observed that bilateral trade between Korea and Africa was important and growing, but said its volume needed to be improved.

 He said Korea’s trade with Africa in terms of exports and imports stood at only 2 percent of its total trade with the world. 

This, he said, must change given the huge economic opportunities and investment potential in Africa.

Dr Adesina said: “The size of consumer expenditures is estimated to be US$2.5 trillion by 2030. The African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which is the largest in the world in terms of numbers of countries, is estimated at US$3.5 trillion market size. —Business Reporter 

With a population of 1.3 billion, of which 600 m are young people, rapid urbanisation and rising incomes of the middle class, Africa is the leading emerging market frontier.”

Dr Adesina listed several sectors that he said offered huge opportunities, including energy and agriculture, which is expected to grow to US$1 trillion by 2030. This includes the development of special agro-industrial processing zones in which the bank and partners have invested more than US$1.5 billion in 11 countries.

In the energy sector, Adesina said Africa has enormous renewable energy potential, including 11 TW of solar, which is the highest in the world, but only one percent is utilised. With 350 GW of hydro, only 7 percent is utilised; 115 GW of wind potential of which only 2 percent is used; and 15 GW of geothermal power of which only 2 percent is utilised.

Speaking at the forum, Korea’s 1st Vice President, Minister of Economy and Finance, Byoung Hwan Kim, acknowledged that despite global shocks, African countries were experiencing higher growth rates—Business Reporter 

You Might Also Like