The Africa Investment Forum (AIF) is a platform to move infrastructure projects to bankable stages for SA, according to President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“To be an investment destination of choice, we need to resolve the problems that keep investors away from our continent, by addressing governance challenges, such as policy uncertainty, inconsistency, financial mismanagement and corruption,” Ramaphosa said at the inaugural AIF organised by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Sandton on Thursday.
“This is a marketplace to do deals and conclude transactions.”
The forum comes on the back of the investment summit at the end of October, which saw an influx of R290bn in investment into the economy, and R400bn in investment pledges.
In April, Ramaphosa set an ambitious goal of raising $100bn in investment over the next five years. With national elections looming in 2019, he is under pressure to show tangible plans to boost the economy, which has been battered by low growth, and has struggled to breach the 2% growth mark in the last decade.
The country’s flailing economy fell into a recession for the first time since the global financial crisis in the first half of the year, while unemployment has edged closer to 30% as key industries shed jobs, exacerbating the issues of poverty and inequality.
Ramaphosa said on Thursday that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement is imperative for raising investment across the continent and in SA. African countries signed the African Union’s agreement in March, with the goals of creating a single market and customs union on the continent, which has a market of 1.2-billion people and a combined economy of $3.4-trillion.