African Development Bank has indicated that it has postponed the 2021 Africa Investment Forum, which was scheduled for next month, December 2021, due to the emergence of the new strain of the COVID-19 virus known as the omicron variant.
Dr Akinwumi Adesina, President of AfDB, in a statement issued in Abidjan, stated that the postponement was in relation to travel restrictions arising from the emergence of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. He indicated that the decision to postpone the 2021 Africa Investment Forum was reached following consultations with the Government of Côte d’Ivoire and the Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group.
The Forum was initially scheduled to take place on 1st December to 3rd December, 2021, in Abidjan.
The President of the African Development Bank Group noted that the impending investment forum will help Africa rake in billions of dollars from sponsors and investors.
“The Africa Investment Forum is the premier investment marketplace for Africa. Several billion dollars of investment projects were scheduled for investment board rooms with project sponsors and investors at this edition of the Africa Investment Forum.”Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
Dr. Akinwumi Adesina bemoaned the decision taken to postpone Africa Investment Forum, but he was quick to admit that the health of every individual on the continent is paramount and as such, needs to be protected.
“Unfortunately, with rising global travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 Omicron variant, and heightened concerns for health and safety, it is necessary, regrettably, to postpone the event. The health and safety of everyone comes first.”Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
Dr Adesina further expressed the gratitude of the African Development Bank Group and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire to expected participants and delegations and look forward to hosting the event at a future date.
“We sincerely regret all inconveniences to our esteemed and expected heads of state and government, participants, project sponsors, investors and government delegations. We would like to thank all participants, investors, and project sponsors for the excellent preparatory work they have done.”Dr. Akinwumi Adesina
Dr Adesina added that the African Development Bank Group and the Africa Investment Forum partners are indebted to President Alassane Ouattara and the Government of Côte d’Ivoire for their exceptional and gracious support.
The Africa Investment Forum, also referred to as “AIF 2021 Market Days” was scheduled to be held in a hybrid format featuring physical and virtual participation under the theme: “Accelerating Transformative Investments in Africa”. The event reflects the urgent need to attract greater inflows of private capital into business and investment across Africa, a need sharpened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Opportunities to be showcased at the event were expected to drive Africa’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
A flagship initiative of the AfDB, the forum was launched in 2018 with seven other founding partners. They are: Africa 50, the Africa Finance Corporation, the African Export-Import Bank, the Development Bank of Southern Africa, the Trade and Development Bank, the European Investment Bank and the Islamic Development Bank.