According to a statement made available to The Union, the two day investment summit will focus on opportunities in the energy sector and will have in attendance energy ministers from Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Namibia, Uganda and South Africa.
The decision to leave Nigeria out of the summit may not be unconnected to the emergence of President Muhammadu Buhari in the Saturday, March 28, 2015 presidential election and the inability of the president to set up his cabinet and appoint an energy minister.
The statement revealed that “there will be 11+ project presentations featuring major opportunities, including: The East to West Landbridge – LAPSSET Corridor; East African Standard Gauge Railways; Dry port development in Ghana; Unbundling of state utilities in Liberia and; Gas-to Power investment opportunities in Mozambique and South Africa.”
The forum, which is in its fourth year is tagged “The 4th Annual Africa Infrastructure and Power Forum” and “partners with the China Africa Development Fund, who will be seeking new projects to receive some of the $5billion under their management”.
The statement also disclosed that “Despite the headwinds caused by lower oil and commodity prices, and weakening currencies across sub-Saharan Africa, progress continues to be made. “Nigeria witnessed the most notable investment deal in recent weeks, with Africa’s largest privately held business –Dangote- signing a $4.34 billion deal with China’s Sinoma, an indication of Nigeria’s infrastructural ambition.
“In the same period, another of the world’s fastestgrowing economies, Kenya, has earmarked $55.6 billion for infrastructure development. Kenya’s road network urgently needs improvement – essential for trade and tourism, indispensable lines of inward investment.
“Global investors demand for African opportunities were displayed this month when one of the world’s largest private-equity funds – The Abraaj Group – announced it had raised $1.4 billion, indicating the dawn of billion-dollar African private-equity funds searching for greater returns than offered by alternative, saturated markets. Of 119 African investor deals, there has only been one default in the past decade”.
During the Goodluck Jonathan administration, China was Nigeria’s leading trade and development partner. The Chinese severed trade relations with Nigeria early April when Buhari won the March 2015 elections and Jonathan conceded defeat. According to diplomatic sources, China is not interested in forging a relationship with a Buhari-led Nigeria because Buhari is a stooge of the United States.
Since Buhari was sworn into office May 29, 2015, the Naira has lost over 25% of its value and continues to come under pressure over declining oil prices and loss of Nigeria’s major crude oil buyer, China. Nigeria’s main export is crude oil, and the economy is dependent on income from oil sales.