Prof. Jacob T. Kaimenyi was almost thrilled when he spoke on Wednesday evening about the opportunities for investors in his home country Kenya: “We have the environment for private sector growth,” underlined the current Kenyan ambassador for Belgium, Luxembourg, and the EU.
“Our index has been rising for three years and is one of the best in the world! Over the past ten years, many companies have relocated to Kenya. Investments have risen to over $2 billion! We have 1,700 foreign companies in the country. That shows what is happening!
The first “African Investment Conference” focused on financing opportunities
The fact is: Africa, which for a long time concluded agreements primarily with China, attracts more and more foreign investors. Countries such as Tanzania, Gambia, Uganda, Senegal, and Djibouti all recorded economic growth of more than six percent in 2018, while Côte d’Ivoire and Ethiopia even recorded more than seven percent.
Egypt is also one of the fastest-growing economies. The demand in view of the growing population is great and the booming mobile phone market offers opportunities for new products and payment models in many places. With well over 18 million users in Kenya alone, M-Pesa is a huge success. According to a McKinsey study, there are over 100 million mobile payment accounts throughout Africa – making the black continent the global leader.
Of course, Africa has problems such as poverty, disease, overexploitation, rural exodus, population explosion, violence, and corruption. Nevertheless, it has been better economically for about ten years now.
First Conference on Africa
Reason enough for KPMG to join forces with the Luxembourg Africa Investments Association to host the very first “African Investment Conference”. More than 150 guests found their way to KMPG – proof of interest in Luxembourg. David Capocci, Partner and Head of Alternative Investments at KPMG, was instrumental in organizing the conference.
“Africa is a huge market with great demand,” he replied to the question about the reason for the event. “We have numerous inquiries for the launch of investment funds. Luxembourg has a great deal of experience as the second-largest fund center in the world. Luxembourg has infrastructure funds, private equity funds, alternative investment funds, and private equity.
We can connect investors with those in Africa who seek financing and work with both. The need for financing is enormous. Since we need a platform, we get our act together. Just last week we launched a billion fund in Nigeria.”
Foreign trade office in Casablanca
Luxembourg also wants to help a piece of the pie and the local companies, as Vincent Hieff from the Ministry of Economic Affairs assured. In addition to the existing eight trade and investment offices, one will be opened next year in Casablanca, which will also be responsible for the African market.
“We have more inquiries from companies about Africa,” Hieff assured. However, the continent is huge with 50 countries. As a small country, Luxembourg, therefore, focuses on Ghana, Kenya, Côte d’Ivoire, Rwanda, and Morocco.
(Featured image by Annie Spratt)
First published in journal, a third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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