The Gauteng province has become the leading launch-pad for many international investment and financial conferences.

The Africa Investment Forum is the latest conference to be launched in South Africa.

Organisers believe the conference will position South Africa – and Gauteng province in particular – as the destination of choice for investment conferences.

The event is expected to pull experts from across all sectors and industries. The African Development Bank will be championing the forum.

Its president says the event will be purely transactional, rather than a talk show conference. The Forum will take place this week from Wednesday to Friday.

The Africa Investment Forum follows on the heels of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s Investment conference last month.

Ramaphosa announced that South Africa would receive almost R300 billion in investments over the next five years.

The Africa investment Forum – hosted by the African Development Bank – is also expected to attract investment into the country.

Acting Group Executive at the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, Muzi Mathema says South African businesses should also make use of the African free Trade Agreement to do business with the rest of the continent.

“In less than 4500 days there will be more than 2 billion people in our continent of those 60% will be under the age of 30. Therefore the agenda of the African Development Bank is also expressed in our agenda as the provisional government which is to feed Africans, to educate and industrialise Africans. And improve the trade footprint of Africans is more relevant and urgent than ever. Our continent has never had a deficit of announcing new infrastructure projects but we have always had a deficit in implementing how we fund those projects.”

The Gauteng Provincial government, Mduduzi Mbada says, “As the Gauteng provisional government we are delighted to be the host and be part of the conveners of this forum which is the biggest first of its kind investment market place on our continent. Gauteng has strong credentials as an intra-African trade and Gauteng based companies are significant investors on the continent, our continent therefore is a compelling investment destination. We will use the Africa Investment Forum to once again position our country, our continent and our province as a destination of choice for investors.”

Director of Communications and External Relations at the African Development Bank, Victor Oladokun says Africa needs a trillion dollars in investment per year to make an economic impact for its people.

The infrastructure financing gap on the continent is between 60 and 80 billion dollars. Oladokun says perceptions of risk on the continent are sometimes more myth than reality.

“The Africa Investment Forum is a game changer, this is an unprecedented investment forum the likes of which Africa and the world has never seen before and as far as the economic transformation of Africa is concerned it has to be business unusual,  we can’t expect to do the same old same old and expect different results.  Talk is going to be limited as we know talk is cheap, at the end of the day what we are interested in is transactions, transaction, transactions and therefore there will be a limit on the amount of talk that you hear at the Africa Investment Forum.”

The Forum will have 28 boardroom sessions, from which 61 bankable projects — worth 40 billion dollars — will be addressed.

Capital markets, global financiers and the private sector will screen and look at the expected deals. North African countries will, for the first time, be included in the forum.

Government says it remains committed to the Africa Investment forum and this forms part of its strategy to attract 100 billion dollars into the country over the next five years.

South Africa has about 5,5 billion dollars worth of projects with the African Development Bank – mostly on energy.