The just concluded World Economic Forum (WEF) on Africa has attracted over 68 billion dollars (about N12.9 trillion) in investment to the African continent, Dr Philipp Rosler, the Managing Director of the Forum, said. Rosler disclosed this in a closing remarks on Friday in Abuja.
He said the funds were in the form of Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) as well as private and public investments across African countries which would continue to yield results in the next years. Rosler said the funds were targeted at investments in beautiful projects that would foster the agriculture sector, improve infrastructure such as roads, railways. hospitals, education, skill development and ICT.
”What this means is that it is not just money, but opportunities for Africa and the reason why we are here is to unlock the opportunities for the improvement in the states of Africa,” he said. He said that the event was one of the best his organisation had hosted in the recent years.
Rosler said that the forum had achieved the missions of his organisation ‘’which is commitment to the growth of the world in three steps”. The steps, according to him, are “to create community of interest, to create community of purpose and lastly to have community of exchange. The WEF(A), Abuja, has been able to achieve these. For instance, in creating the community of interest, the articles about the last three days is more that 48,000 articles which is three times more than the last year.
“Millions of people have now realised that Africa is important in global economy.
“Secondly, we created the community of purpose, we have more than 1000 participants here in the last three days and they were here not withstanding all the reports about security. They were here because of all the discussions and they send their voices of solidarity with the people of Nigeria.
“They come up with a common voice that they will never allow the terrorists and violence dictate our agenda and the peoples agenda for the continent.”
Speaking in same vein, Elzie Kanza, the Director and Head of Africa WEF, said since May 2, there were about 50,000 social media items that mentioned WEF (A), Abuja.
She said the coverage had a total reach of over 2.1 billion, which is about 30 per cent of world population.
On twitter, she said the numbers of followers increase by over 1200 people per day and the digital reach increased to about 4.1 million people.
Kanza said that on facebook, the clips on launch of the “Save-School Initiative” press conference was watched 1200 times.
In terms of practical results, she said that the “Safe School Initiative”, an aftermath of the abduction of over 200 schoolgirls in Chibok, was outstanding.
The ‘Safe School Initiative Fund’ was created by the UN Special Envoy for Global Education, Gordon Brown, following the abduction and it is to develop and enhanced education in the terrorism-ravaged areas of Nigeria.
The fund had attracted 10 billion dollars each from the initiator and the Federal Government, respectively. Kanza said that the Chinese government had planned to invest 42 billion dollars in Africa, 10 billion dollars in investment financing, 30 billion dollars in extending credit lines and 2 billion dollars into China-Africa investment fund.
In the business sector, she said the Dangote group would be investing about 16 billion dollars in Nigeria over the next four years, adding that it would also create 180,000 jobs.
According Kanza, another company is investing one billion dollars across Africa in the next 10 years while 20,00 jobs will be created created through the Digital Africa initiative. In the power sector, she said that 2 billion dollars from donor agencies had been committed to improve electricity supply across Nigeria.
ON health, Kanza said that the immunisation drive got 700 million dollars through an MoU that was signed.
According to her, in the overall, there is strong commitment between the private and the public sector to collaborate regionally and globally in the fight against terror in Nigeria and the rest of Africa.