Equity Bank CEO Joins Africa Forum on Public-Private Partnerships

Equity Bank Group, Chief Executive Officer, Dr. James Mwangi has joined a pan African initiative that aims to promote private sector participation in infrastructure and intra-African investment.

The initiative brings together over 150 of the continent’s most influential business and government leaders.

The campaign is spearheaded by Africa investor, a specialist investment and communications firm advising governments, international organisations and businesses on strategies for capital market and foreign direct investments in Africa.

Dr Mwangi who attended the Africa investor CEO Summit in South Africa said the private sector in Africa was ready to support public-private partnerships (PPPs) in the delivery of Africa’s infrastructure and facilitate intra-African trade.

“The private sector in Africa can play a critical role in supporting infrastructure and trade not just as financiers, but also channels for innovation, technology and skills development. Africa investor CEO Summit has given business leaders and governments a chance to have dialogue between the two sectors on the key issues impacting on Africa’s infrastructure delivery and trade,” said Dr. Mwangi.

Dr Mwangi said the continent has been vulnerable to external shocks due to the fact that it does the bulk of its trade with the outside world and the exports are heavily concentrated on primary commodities.

“Africa cannot delink itself from trading with the outside world. However, the continent can reduce its vulnerability to external shocks by promoting intra‐regional trade,” said Dr. Mwangi.

During the Summit, Africa investor also showcased African investment stories by hosting its prestigious 2013 Africa investor (Ai) Investment and Business Leader Awards which recognize investment and policy leadership transforming Africa’s investment climate and competitiveness as an investment destination. Dr Mwangi received the African Business Leader of the Year. The award is given to the business leader whose organization is well-run with financial results increasing year on year, and embracing innovation, and model corporate citizen.

The award examines the company’s performance and improvement in its key business areas: customer satisfaction, financial and marketplace performance, human resources, supplier and partner performance, and operational performance. The organisation should be seen to be responding to global trends and leading the field

The Ai Awards are the longest standing and most recognised international awards that showcase Africa’s investment success stories.

Africa investor CEO Summit aimed to deepen the private sector’s partnership with the World Bank and DFIs on private sector participation and investment climate policy initiatives; share and promote African investment success stories through the Ai Investment and Business Leaders Awards, and consult and inform the World Bank’s private sector development agenda through the World Bank-Africa investor Strategic Dialogue.

In 2010, the World Bank estimated that to develop Africa’s infrastructure to modern and internationally competitive standards, an investment of US$93 billion – nearly 15 percent of Africa’s GDP – is required every year.

Intra-African trade is around 10 percent recorded trade, while trade within the European Union and Asian markets ranges between 60 and 70 percent.
Sixty-five percent Africa’s infrastructure comes from government resources and so there is the need to encourage the private sector to participate in infrastructure development

The Summit concluded with the 5th Africa investor-World Bank Strategic Dialogue with Bankers and Investors, which saw Africa investor and the World Bank commit to taking the Summit recommendations forward and reporting back at the 2014 Spring Meetings in Washington.

The Africa investor Summit comprised a number of CEO-led panels that showcased high-growth opportunity sectors and investment projects, and included interactive feedback from public and private sector leaders working on these issues.

The outcomes of these panels were designed to support leaders in taking the recommendations forward in their own organisations and promoting uptake across their networks throughout the year.

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