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01.03.2004 Business & Finance

Increasing Capital Flows to Africa

By Ghana Cyber Group
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The Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) hosted the Increasing Capital Flows to Africa Conference at the Citigroup Headquarters in New York on Thursday, February 26, 2004. The conference sought to mobilize private sector capital flows to Africa.

Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa rose 30% from 11 Billion in 2002 to 14 Billion in 2003 and in countries such as Ghana the stock market reported an index return of 144% in U.S. dollar. In an increasing number of countries, there are successful, profitable and export-oriented private investments. These include Senegal's mango exports, cut flower exports from Uganda and Kenya, Ghana's electronic data entry, Mozambique's aluminum smelter and Mauritius' back-office services.

Ghanaian Delegates that attended the summit include:

Sam Jonah, Chief Executive Officer, Ashanti Goldfields Limited, Ghana

Yaw Owusu, Founder & CEO, Ghana Cyber Group, Inc., New York, New York

Edith Kufuor, Euromoney Institutional Investor Inc., New York, New York

Sese Gadzekpo, Program Officer, Corporate Conference On Africa, Washington, DC

Hamdiya Ismaila, Columbia University, School of Int'l & Public Affairs, New York

Kwame Ahiabor, Fairfield University School of Business, Fairfield, Connecticut

Ernest Boateng, Director, Franchise Management, MasterCard International, NY

Cyril Fui Kudiabor, Attorney @ Law, New York, New York

Benjamin Akuete, Manufacturers & Traders Bank, New York, New York

Tony Brobbey, Vice President, Worldwide Asset & Liability Management, Bank Of New York, New York

Mr. Sam Jonah outlined the success of Ashanti Goldfields, which currently has operations in 12 African countries, while Yaw Owusu announced United Nation's commitment of funding for the Ghana Technology Park venture and encouraged Ashanti Goldfields, Microsoft Corporation and executives of firms attending the summit to invest in the project, which is scheduled to begin this summer.

More than two hundred U.S. investors and United States and African representatives from financial institutions participated in the conference. Capital flows from the perspective of trade finance, working capital, term debt and equity were discussed at the conference, as was country investment ratings, success stories on mobilizing capital by U.S. fund managers, risk mitigation and coverage of a select group of African based projects in various stages of raising both debt and equity.

Stanley Fischer, Citigroup President and Vice Chair addressed attendees at the breakfast plenary. The forum panelists demonstrated that African markets can be profitable. The summit highlighted key viable financing opportunities in Africa and provided a platform for financiers to meet sponsors of projects in Africa.

The Capital Flows to Africa conference falls during leap year. However, it's not a leap of faith for investors to turn their attention to Africa where Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa rose 30% from 11 Billion in 2002 to 14 Billion in 2003 and in countries such as Ghana the stock market reported an index return of 144% in U.S. dollar.

Participants included Zephrin Diabre, UNDP; Tom Barry, Zephyr Fund; Stanley Fischer, Citigroup; and Maurice Tempelsman. Citigroup is sponsored this event, which will take place at Citigroup's Greenwich Street offices in Manhattan, New York.

The conference delegates met for a reception at the Marriott Marquis Hotel at Times Square New York after the panel sessions, which ran from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Members of the CCA's Financing Task Force include representatives from: Citigroup; UNDP; MIGA, Export-Import Bank of the United States of America; Overseas Private Investment Corporation; United States Treasury Department; HSBC Equator Bank; Bank of New York, M & T Bank; United Bank of Africa; UBS International Inc.; Databank Ltd.; Doley Securities; Emerging Markets Partnership; Modern Africa Fund Managers; Zephyr Management, L.P.; Merrill Lynch; Africa Millennium Fund; Structured Credit International Corporation; LiquidAfrica Holdings; O'Melveny & Myers; LLP, Ngarurih Investment Group; AfricanGlobal Group; and eStandands Forum.

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