« AIF provides a unique platform for the project developers »
For Hani Salem Sonbol, CEO of the International Islamic Trade Finance Corporation (ITFC) and the Acting CEO of the Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), this AIF edition in Marrakech is unique as it is focus on value chain. The CEO who represented Islamic Developpement Bank president H.E. Dr. Muhammad Al Jasser, has answered to our questions.
How can this Africa Investment Forum (AIF) bring investors together and create great opportunities for the continent?
This forum is unique as it focuses on project investment and financing opportunities, i.e., very transaction focused. AIF provides a unique platform for the project developers to interact with potential equity and debt providers directly. AIF fosters collaborations and helps the project developers to reach to the bankability and financing stage faster. All these ultimately results into investments and developmental impact.
What makes this edition special?
In line with the theme of this years “Unlocking Africa’s Value Chain”, the projects are indeed focused on harnesing value from the inherent strengths of the continent. Projects like the energy pipeline from Morocco and Nigeria will make positive contributions to all the relevant countries in the continent
As a founding partner, how do you contribute to the continent’s development?
For example, the IsDB through its FSRP will contribute to tackle the main challenges in Africa related to how to raise Africa’s food production and productivity? IsDB through flagship program such as the Regional Rice value chain and cassava value chain is financing projects with strong local supply links, interconnected and supported by an enabling environment.
Through its cassava value chain program, IsdB is developing new types of investment link to achieving true, industrialization, and trade to absorb the expected additional production, value addition and processed food products to contribute achieving zero hunger in Africa.
IsDB is also financing projects to (i) promote spatially defined agro-industrial investments and (ii) strengthen agriculture.
ICD, the private sector financing arm of the IsDB Group, are actively supports the continent through its financing to clients in the financial sector as well as those in the infrastructure, manufacturing and services sectors.
What are your expectations in terms of outcomes of this edition?
Our expectation will be to have as many bankable projects as possible. End of this year’s AIF does not mean that the work will be done concerning the potential projects. Following the AIF event, the investors and lenders will be working closely with the project developers with a view to achieving successful financing and project implementation in an expeditious manner.