Opportunities to invest in Africa and the role that International Finance Centres (IFCs) can play in facilitating growth in the continent will form the focus of an event to be held by Jersey Finance in London this week.

The Jersey Finance ‘Africa Investment Seminar’ will be held at the Institute of Directors in London on 25 June, starting at 8am, and will feature a talk from Geoff Cook, CEO, Jersey Finance, announcing the findings of a new report analysing Jersey’s competitiveness in attracting and mobilising foreign direct investment (FDI). The report, produced by global management advisory firm Investment Consulting Associates, is entitled ‘Jersey’s Contribution to FDI’ and identifies the strengths of Jersey’s finance industry in facilitating FDI and its contribution to the global economy.   It follows a series of roadshows staged by Jersey Finance earlier this month in Cape Town, Johannesburg, Nairobi and Lagos.

Senator Philip Ozouf, Assistant Chief Minister of The Government of Jersey, will give a keynote speech at the breakfast event exploring the growing links between Jersey and Africa and highlighting the efforts being made at a political level to cement positive relationships between Jersey and the African markets.

This will be follwed by a talk from Mark Pragnell of Capital Economics, outlining the key messages from the ‘Jersey’s Value to Africa’ report, published last year. The report found that, whilst Africa is one of the fastest growing regions globally, to sustain that growth it needs to invest US$85 trillion in infrastructure by 2040 and that this could not be generated locally or through international aid. The paper estimated a shortfall of US$11.4 trillion in investment, US$6.1 trillion of which will need to come from outside the continent through foreign direct investment.

A panel session featuring Deon de Klerk, Head of Africa and International at Standard Bank, and Boshoff Grobler, CEO of Ashburton Investments, as well as Mark Pragnell and Senator Philip Ozouf, will then look in more depth at the links between Jersey and Africa and the implications of both the ‘Value to Africa’ and ‘Value to FDI’ reports. Panellists will also discuss barriers to inward investment into Africa and how the strengths of IFCs like Jersey, such as specific expertise in cross-border investment pooling can help mitigate those challenges.

Geoff Cook said: “This seminar builds on the findings of last year’s Value to Africa report, which identified for the first time the scale of foreign direct investment that the African continent needs to realise its growth potential and the significant role quality IFCs like Jersey can play in facilitating that investment. With comments from the recent World Economic Forum on Africa pointing to the growing focus within Africa on investment in infrastructure, this will be a fascinating and timely debate on the role of IFCs in mobilising investments into Africa and developing countries more widely, and I’m delighted that we will be joined by such a strong line-up to direct our discussions.”

If you would like to attend the seminar, places can be reserved at www.jerseyfinance.je/events/africa-investment-seminar.

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