The summit, chaired by former Nigerian president Olusegun Obasanjo, is seeking to direct funds from some of the world’s largest institutional investors into projects across five nations – Uganda, Ghana, Rwanda, Tanzania and Togo.
TGAIS is designed as a platform for African governments to bring bankable projects to the international market, targeting a range of investors, including institutional investors, family offices, pension and private equity companies.
It is the first time that such a forum has been staged on this scale in London.
The Government is looking for investors to finance projects in key industries including agriculture, infrastructure and natural resources.
This includes the Kampala-Jinja road (77.1km), a public – private partnership project.
The road is the main gateway for exports and imports to the port of Mombasa on the Kenya coast not only for Uganda, but also for the other landlocked eastern African nations such as Rwanda, Burundi, South Sudan and Eastern DRC.
The road will enable greater regional integration and dramatically reduce the cost of doing business in the region.
With about 30,000km of roads and only 2,800km paved, Uganda’s infrastructure has much room for development.
The project is expected to promote economic regeneration and access to jobs; about 11,000 new jobs are envisaged and better provision and access to social services.
Together with the proposed new rail and port projects, the country is set to transform infrastructure, which will significantly reduce the cost of finished goods, open up commercial opportunities for adjacent sectors and contribute to boosting Uganda’s competitiveness.
Former prime minister Amama Mbabazi at a recent meeting with Paul Sinclair, the event director, highlighted the significance of finding the right investors.
“We have a number of important projects that will help the Ugandan economy grow substantially.
Finding the best investors for the projects and knowing that the projects will be undertaken in a way that creates shared value and promotes long-term sustainability is crucial,” he said.
Sinclair, said: “The Global African Investment Summit will see government delegations from Africa present bankable investment opportunities. By focusing on these projects, we believe that we will trigger deal making and spur investment partnerships, enabling job creation, technology transfer and economic growth.”
According to Sinclair, the stable political and fiscal environment enjoyed by Uganda is a key attraction to investors.
Endowed with significant natural resources, including ample fertile land, regular rainfall, oil reserves in Lake Albert and mineral deposits, Uganda will undergo an increase in real GDP growth to an annual average of 6.7% in 2014-2017 as external demand rises, and to 15.6% in 2018 as oil production starts.
Most of the country’s industry is related to agriculture, and coffee alone accounts for about 17% of the country’s exports in 2013.
As Africa’s leading coffee producer, Uganda is looking to expand its value chain to over 150 farmer associations and cooperatives to structure the sector more efficiently and focus on value addition.
Uganda is also preparing a geothermal joint venture project at the Buranga prospect with a capacity of 100MW as part of its strategy to promote renewable energy sources as alternatives or supplements to other traditional energy sources.
TGAIS enjoys strong support from the UK government.
African government delegates will attend a private luncheon at Buckingham Palace on the opening day, and Britain’s minister for Africa, James Duddridge, will host a gala reception at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for all participants at the conclusion of the summit.