How viable are investments in Africa? What kind of future can potential investors on the continent expect? Which countries and sectors of the economy are most attractive to investors? The participants in the session ‘Investing in Africa’, which will be held on 23 October as part of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum in Sochi, will try to find answers to these and other questions.

Africa’s GDP is expected to reach USD 29 trillion by 2050 and will exceed the combined GDP of the U. S. and Eurozone for 2012. Africa does not only consist of raw materials and agricultural resources, but also has rapid population growth as well as huge untapped opportunities for industrialization, electrification, and the development of logistics. These are all growth points, but they also have risk components, especially at the initial stage. In addition, the education industry is booming in Africa, while the share of the middle class and the availability of financial and telecommunication services is relatively high. Many countries have already been down this path, but whose experience will be the most applicable and effective, and for whom?

The discussion will include the following panellists: President of the Republic of Seychelles Danny Faure, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade of the Republic of Kenya Monica Juma, Minister Delegate to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco Mohcine Jazouli, Minister of Investment Promotion, Public and Private Partnership Responsible for Improving the Business Climate of the Gabonese Republic Jean-Fidele Otandault, Qalaa Holdings Founder and Chairman of the Executive Board Ahmed Heikal, CalBank Limited CEO and Managing Director Frank Adu Jr., Naspers Group CEO Bob van Dijk, and Rwanda Mines Petroleum and Gas Board CEO Francis Gatare. The session will be moderated by Renaissance Capital Global Chief Economist Charles Robertson.

Interest in investing in regions with rapidly growing economies is especially acute given the slowing production growth around the world. “North Africa is geographically and historically close to Europe and is now ready for industrial development. East Africa is close to the developed countries of Asia and is also steadily trying to catch up with them. We are all well aware of South Africa’s strong positions, and West African countries feature a higher average literacy rate. Economic growth as a result of the industrialization of East Asia has been explosive and swept over the region for many decades – in fact, it has yet to end. And a lot of people regret that they did not get in on the ground floor. Egypt is vying for the title holder in terms of industrialization for the coming decade. You need to seize the moment and see who will be next,” Robertson said.

The Russia–Africa Summit and Economic Forum will take place on 23–24 October in Sochi at the Sirius Park of Science and Art. The events are being organized by the Roscongress Foundation, and the co-organizers of the Russia–Africa Economic Forum are Russian Export Center and Afreximbank.