The group managing director and chief executive officer of the United Bank for Africa, UBA Plc, Phillips Oduoza has called on financial institutions in Africa to seize the opportunity provided by the just concluded US-Africa Business Leaders Summit and the enthusiasm about Africa, to grow their capacity.
Oduza who was speaking during the business forum in Washington DC, said much of the challenges of financing growth and development facing Africa, lie in the hands of financial institutions working in collaboration with international development finance institutions, investors, and private equity firms particularly from the US.
He said beyond the negative press about the continent in the western media, there were a lot of positive developments in Africa, with stable democracies in most countries, improved business climates and abundant investment opportunities in agriculture, power, transportation, telecommunications, energy and other sectors.
Describing the summit as the largest gathering of investors, financiers, businessmen and political leaders from Africa and the US, Oduoza commended President Obama and his team for putting together the conference which he noted was long overdue.
Other top Nigerian companies and government institutions at the event were; Heirs Holdings, Chaired by Tony Elumelu, Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), A-Post, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Dangote Industries, Global Infrastructure Partners, Main One Cable Company and the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA).
The business forum segment of the meeting focused on strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa and African leaders engaged with business executives from both sides of the Atlantic in conversations about successes and solutions to increase trade with and invest in Africa.
President Barrack Obama, who also participated in the forum along with commerce secretary, Penny Pritzker, noted that the partnership between USA and Africa “must be grounded in mutual responsibility and mutual respect.”
Obama called on Africa leaders to strengthen their democracies and democratic institutions to encourage investment inflow into the continent.
American companies and institutions announced $33 billion investment into Africa during the summit