Adesina Urges More Japanese Investment in Africa at AIF
The African Development Bank (AfDB), has called for more Japanese investments in Africa to harness the continent’s huge potential.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, AfDB’s President, said this on a sideline event, “Boosting Africa’s Growth with Japan: From Start-ups to Major Companies”, at the ongoing African Investment Forum in Marrakesh, Morocco.
Adesina said: ”I met with some of the largest corporations in Tokyo to encourage them to make more significant investments in Africa. Several of them are well-known brand names in Africa.
“Africa needs more venture capital and private equity funds to tap into Africa’s huge potential. And Japan is paying attention.
“The Government of Japan strongly supports the growth of the private sector in Africa. This is clearly shown by the strong commitment of the Japan International Development Agency (JICA).
“It has provided 5.8 billion dollars towards the Enhanced Private Sector Assistance for Africa (EPSA) in partnership with the AfDB.
“Through strong public and private partnerships, we look forward to much faster growth of private investments by Japanese companies in Africa.”
According to Adesina, the Association of Japanese Corporate Executives, Keizai-Doyukai, is at the forefront of mobilising and galvanising investment interests from Japan to Africa.
He said the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shibusawa and Company Inc., Mr Ken Shibusawa, had inaugurated a 100 million dollar impact fund for investments in Africa.
“Japanese businesses see Africa as a good investment destination.
“A 2020 survey of Japanese companies by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) found that 48 per cent of Japanese businesses indicated interest in expanding their businesses in Africa.
“About 45 per cent would like to maintain the scale of their businesses in Africa. In addition, 46 per cent see the African consumer market as promising.
“While 43 per cent indicated that they see infrastructure, natural resources, and energy as promising business investment areas,” he said.
Adesina said Toyota Tsusho’s investment in automobile factories in South Africa generated 7.5 billion dollars in revenues in 2022.
He said that Komatsu, the giant equipment company, generated revenue of one billion dollars in 2020 in Africa.
Adesina said Mitsubishi Corporation and Hitachi had been investing in energy in Africa since the early 20th century, adding that they knew Africa well, and had kept on investing.
“Today, the successes of large Japanese companies are spurring a new generation of young Japanese who are also turning their eyes to venture capital and private equity funds in Africa.
“These are to support small and medium-sized enterprises. Japanese companies in Africa increased from 520 in 2010 to 900 in 2020.
“In Ghana, Degas Ltd, a start-up established in 2018, supports farmers with satellite data analytics.
“Kepple Africa Ventures, another start-up, has raised 43 million dollars and is investing along with African private equity funds in 100 seed-stage start-ups in 11 African countries.
“They hope to reach a fund size of 100 million dollars by 2023. The Uncovered Fund, founded only in 2019, also invested in 26 African start-ups.
The sum of these testimonials is that Africa is bankable,” Adesina said.
AIF is where bankable projects in Africa meet with investors; investors meet with Heads of State and Governments in investment board rooms.
It is also where comfort is given to investments, where risks are managed and where deals are closed remarkably.
AIF, founded in 2018, is a multi-stakeholder platform that has become the continent’s premier investment platform.
It is a flagship initiative of the AfDB Islamic Development Bank.
It has the European Development Bank, Afreximbank, Trade and Development Bank, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Africa Finance Corporation and Africa 50 as its Founding Partners