Africa Finance & Investment Forum

EMRC organized the 2013 edition of the Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) entitled “Trade for Growth and Development”. The forum was held June 13-14, 2013 in Geneva, Switzerland.  IFC's Chief Investment Officer André Laude participated.


The Forum’s focus on trade this year was in parallel with the international community’s view that trade and a conducive business environment are indispensable for long-term sustainable economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The forum had two objectives: to strengthen the financial capacities of Africa’s private sector, and to promote the creation of new partnerships through the encouragement of joint projects and trade relations North-South and South-South. 


So what did AFIF2013 offer participants in terms of doing business in Africa? International experts showcased their vision for the future of Africa’s business sector with representatives from the private and public sector from Africa, Europe and beyond highlighting the key issues linked to the sector’s growth. In addition, with a 250 participants attending, the Forum also provided business-to-business (B2B) meetings which were tailor-made to ensure maximum business partnership success. Previous forums have seen over 1,000 of these meetings set up over a 2-day period. Furthermore, the international media spotlighted speakers and interviewed a select group of participants to highlight regional and local business ideas and trends.

“People interested in doing business with and for Africa should join AFIF2013 to get expert know-how on the different financial solutions, tools and programs available to promote intercontinental and interregional trade” explained Inês Bastos, Senior Programme Manager at EMRC International. “Demand is growing for real tangible solutions for African businesses. AFIF 2013 will target this head on and will ensure that participants leave with real solutions and business opportunities.”
The Forum’s topics included: programs and credit lines by IFIs for trade finance and promotion of intra-African and international trade; innovative solutions developed by commercial banks to increase lending to SMEs; financing the Missing Middle Gap; improving access to finance within the agricultural/agribusiness sector; and connecting markets. 
The Africa Finance & Investment Forum (AFIF) is one of EMRC’s annual flagship events (along with the annual AgriBusiness Forum). AFIF started ten years ago in Brussels and has now taken place in several European cities such as Lisbon, Paris, Amsterdam. Last year AFIF was organized at Rabobank Headquarters and in 2011 AFIF was promoted in Lisbon in the framework of the African Development Bank annual meetings.

AFIF 2013 took place June 13-14, 2013 and, as per their members’ recommendation, there was for the first time a special pre-forum two-day Training Session on “Presenting a business plan to investors”. The Training Session was addressed to participants with either ongoing businesses or well structured ideas wishing to find financing and other support for their projects.