Festival Of Africa Creates Business Alliances at 2010 FIFA World Cup

By Novell Zwangendaba

GAUTENG – Organisers of the continental business network at the 2010 FIFA World Cup have announced the launch of the inaugural Festival of Africa Investor Summit. The event is fusion of dynamic experts from the economic, governmental and small business arenas will provide audiences with a diverse perspective on the numerous investment opportunities and focuses of the SADC region.

The Festival of Africa has been conceptualized as an event that will showcase the continent’s tourism, cultural and business opportunities, as well as act as a venue for the hosting of VIPs in the business, government, arts, media and investment sectors.

Hosted by the Regional Tourism Organisation of Southern Africa, RETOSA, and organised by Adele Lucas Promotions, the Festival of Africa is Africa’s signature event during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The Festival is endorsed by the African Union and NEPAD, who view the Festival as an important 2010 legacy project. It is also supported by the South African Department of Tourism, Gauteng Tourism and Joburg Tourism, who see it as the perfect vehicle for showcasing Africa’s best to the world.

The aims of the inaugural Festival of Africa Investment Summit is to facilitate investment alliances for the participating countries. This will be one of the few top level economic fora held during the Fifa 2010 World Cup™. Its key focus will be Infrastructure Development, Trade and Investments in the Southern African region. Taking place on Thursday 24th June 2010, this melting pot of diverse speakers and topics is targeting the broad mix of global and African business leaders currently in South Africa.

In the midst of the sports and cultural events currently happening in South Africa, the Investor Summit is the chief platform to bring continental trade and investment to the fore, while provide participating African countries with exposure to potential investors from around the world during the World Cup.

The presence of participants from the DRC, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe ensures that the Summit will be a major success and attract investment proposals in the interest of securing investment alliances for the participating countries. And through the Small Enterprise Development Agency, SEDA’s involvement, the Summit will ensure the interests of the small business sector are catered for.

Kwakye Donkor, Marketing and Communications Director, RETOSA, sums up the motivation for local and international guests to attend the Summit: “The diversity of the topics and speakers will provide investors an opportunity to assess the investment landscape of Southern Africa in particular and Africa as a whole.”

Some of the top speakers on the day include; Mr Francis Mfune, Executive Secretary, SADC. He is the Executive Director for the Regional Tourism Organization of Southern Africa (RETOSA), the tourism arm of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Presenting the “African Countries’ Comparative Investment Potential”, will be Mr Victor Kgomoeswana, Associate Director, Ernst & Young. Mr Kgomoeswana is an African business specialist with related experience as a radio presenter, television commentator, business observer and consultant, analyst, writer and speaker. He is currently an Associate Director at Ernst & Young’s Africa Business Centre, he has a refreshing take on the African continent and the opportunities it has in store for investors and companies. Mr Kgomoeswana is an expert in identifying trends and determines which sectors will lead growth. In his current role, he advises clients on how to expand their business into Africa successfully.

Mr Sam Muradzikwa, Chief Economist, Development Bank of Southern Africa, will also be there presenting on “Trade & Investment Finance in Southern Africa.” He is the Chief Economist in the International Division of the Development Bank of Southern Africa. He carries with him a wealth of experience in infrastructure financing, commercial investments, structured finance and development issues. He has published widely in the field of general economics, public finance, development and infrastructure.

Egyptian Dr Mohamed Abdel-Rahman, energy expert, author and lecturer will present on the topic  “Sustainable Energy Resources and Investments in Southern Africa.”  Dr Abdel-Rahman is an energy expert who gained his rich experience in Canada, Egypt and the Gulf region. He has been an adviser to the Egyptian Electricity Regulatory Agency nearly since its inception in 2001, and has been extensively involved in Agency activities. He is an active member of the Electrical Power and Machines Department of the Faculty of Engineering at the Ain Shams University in Cairo, Egypt, and has published numerous articles.

Lindi Toyi, will present on; “Public-Private Partnerships in Project Finance.” She is head of the Industrial Development Corporation’s SBU Public Private Partnership. The main focus of Ms Toyi’s unit is facilitating increased private-sector participation in the provision of industrial infrastructure. Her career in the energy, finance and infrastructure sectors speaks of a legion of trailblazing achievements. As a key participator in these sectors, Ms Toyi is heralded in holding panel discussions and talks at many conferences pertaining to infrastructure and development with the key focus on renewable energy as well as telecommunication and industrial infrastructure.

After the speaker session, a Panel Discussion with the Member States will be held, including time for a Q&A and networking session. Through these facilitated discussions between the donor community, international financial institutions, investors, regional economic groupings and multilateral institutions, the Investor Summit will also look at sector-specific and regional investment projects that can support Africa in job creation, regional integration and enhance Africa’s competitiveness as a global investment destination.

Lending thier support to the Summit are: The Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), Nepad, The Africa Union, Boundless Southern Africa, The Small Enterprise Development Agency, The South African Department of Tourism, Africa Investor, Executive Research Associates, the Gauteng Tourism Authority and the City of Johannesburg. The summit will be held at Melrose Arch on Thursday 24th June 2010.