Rabat- The 15th annual conference of the African Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (AVCA) launched on April 24, at the Mövenpick Hotel in Marrakech, rallying investors and business leaders interested in the array of investment opportunities available on the African continent.
AVCA, which describes its annual conferences as the leading and largest global private equity gathering, has a vision of promoting and stimulating an investment-driven development in Africa.
This year’s conference marked the attendance of “over 600 leaders in capital-investment, representing over $1300 billion in collective assets,” said a press release that AVCA shared with Morocco World News. The source added that the conference convened panelists and leading business leaders who discussed crucial topics relating to investment and sustainable development in Africa.
In addition to investors and business professionals, the conference also gathered a number of high ranking Moroccan officials.
Lamia Boutaleb, the Secretary of State at the Ministry of Tourism, gave the conference’s opening speech, speaking about the multiple opportunities for investment in tourism, particularly in Morocco. Applauding Moroccan efforts made to develop and rejuvenate its tourism industry, Mrs. Boutaleb commented that Morocco is still in need of a sounder capital-investment program to help upgrade its current investment-attractiveness and performance level.
Also speaking at the opening ceremony, the executive director of BMCE Bank of Africa, Brahim Benjelloun-Touimi, remarked on the numerous investment potentials in “less visible sectors,” such health and education. Other panelists expressed their positive evaluation and upbeat expectations regarding the economic performance of North Africa. “The region has endured roller-coaster years, but investors’ trust has been regained and North Africa has grown more attractive,” said Ziad Oueslati, co-founder of AfricInvest.
Other panel topics included sustainable energy, inclusive growth, job creation, continental connectivity, as well as the necessity to further stimulate and inspire capital investments in “fragile and conflict-filled regions.”
Throughout their varied presentations and commentary, all participants echoed the shared conviction that job creation and sustainable and inclusive growth must be put at the heart of any investment venture on the continent.
Concluding the conference, Michelle Kathryn Essomé, AVCA’s General Director, reminded participants that the 15th AVCA-organized “global rally” happens at a critical juncture in a continent that showcases “boundless investment opportunities. And despite some troubling and challenging recent years in the recent past, “Africa has re-won the confidence of investors,” Mrs. Essomé argued. She added that AVCA will continue being the go-to advocate, promoter, and “catalyst for a capital-investment in Africa.”
“We believe in the power of private capital,” Mrs. Essomé said, claiming that “Africa is the most dynamic and attractive emerging market in the world.”