Highlights of the 2015 Global African Investment Summit


There was reportedly a heated exchange between the current Ghanaian president, John Mahama and former Nigerian president, Olusegun Obasanjo at the second edition of the Global African Investment Summit which took place in London between the 1st and 2nd of December, 2015.

Supposedly, here’s what happened:

Obasanjo allegedly accused Mahama of receiving bribes, blackmailing Nigerian businessmen and acquiring numerous properties in South Africa and Nigeria. The former president of Nigeria also accused the Ghanaian president of contributing about $12 million to Goodluck Jonathan’s presidential campaign earlier this year. Mahama reportedly lost his cool at this point and called Obasanjo a ‘stupid buffoon’ and an ‘idiot’ and it took the prowess of the Ugandan president, Yoweri Museveni and some ministers at the event to stop the disgraceful name calling contest and calm President Mahama down.

However, apart from this melee, here are the other highlights of the summit which sought to create a comprehensive understanding of the function of the private sector in the creation of sustainable development through long-term investment.

1. The need for a conducive investment climate in Africa

In a session anchored by John Snow, the former US Secretary of the Treasury and Boutros Ghali, former Egyptian finance minister, the potential for Africa to serve as reinforcement for the global economy was one of the key talking points. By creating conducive conditions for businesses to succeed, Ghali implored African states to be predictable and stable, noting that “investors don’t like surprises.” Snow advocated private capital, which he argued will be incredibly instrumental in promoting growth and development on the continent.

2. What it takes for entrepreneurship to thrive in Africa

In order to create a vibrant private sector in African countries that can partner with and carry out business with international investors, the panelists, which included Aliko Dangote, Jim Ovia, Hage Geingob and Folorunsho Alakija, discussed the role of African governments. They all entreated that the rule of law, consistency and safety measures for potential investments should be put in place in order to attract private sector partnership.

3. Opportunities in African countries

To speak about the opportunities for business investments in African countries, there were representatives from Uganda (Najuna Njuneki), Lagos (Ademola Abass), Rwanda (Francis Gatare) and Somalia (Abdisalam Omer). Each of the representatives of these countries spoke about the common viable sectors within most African countries such as agriculture, tourism, infrastructure, renewable energy, transportation and consumer goods.

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