Africa’s infrastructure investment opportunities are far greater than previously estimated, according to speakers at the Africa investor Projects Summit held this week in Lagos, Nigeria.
The two-day discussion saw experts and project developers showcase successful projects from across the continent to gathered business leaders, institutional investors and sponsors. Fears of too much capital chasing too few deals are groundless, and demand for finance to back viable, bankable projects in Africa extends far beyond available resources, they explained.
Project developers welcomed the surge of new capital raised by fund managers internationally to plough into infrastructure finance, yet overall investors and project sponsors showed their frustration that too few properly prepared and well structured opportunities are coming to the table in a bankable format.
Debate throughout the sessions focused on the need to deliver on the expectations of new investors in African funds and ensure that projects move forward professionally and quickly to generate acceptable returns and sustain investor interest.
Vice-chairman and managing editor of Africa investor, Hubert Danso, comments: “We have been overwhelmed by the appetite of investors for Africa’s infrastructure opportunities, and are delighted to have brought so many decision makers together for this Projects Summit to take deals to the next stage.
"The investors and developers we have heard over the two days of the event are impatient to see more projects taken off Africa’s infrastructure wishlist and brought to financial close and we are facilitating this process."
More than 250 delegates have attended the two day interactive forum to consider new projects and review the business environment with government leaders. In addition, more than 100 vetted projects were presented to investors to kickstart deals.
Current investors were recognised at the Africa Investor Awards held as part of the Summit.
South Africa's Standard Bank and Rand Merchant Bank walked away with Infrastructure Deal of the Year for their joint private financing of the $3,4-billion Gautrain high speed rail link in South Africa.
Nigeria’s Zenith Bank won the prestigious Bank of the Year Award in recognition of its growing strength in Africa, while fellow Nigerian fund managers Helios Investment Partners took home the Venture Capital Deal of the Year Award for its innovative backing of the multi country telecoms operator Africa Tel.
The Institutional Investor of the Year Award was won by Ghanaian broad based mutual equity fund EPACK, commended by the judges for setting out a blueprint for grassroots investment vehicles, while Afrexim Bank’s success at trade financing and using remittances as collateral on loans earned it the Financial Consultancy of the Year Award.