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Great Lakes Investment & Trade Conference holds in Kigali, 18 March

Following the Peace, Security and Cooperation Framework Agreement (PSC-F) signed by 13 African countries to register their commitments at the national, regional and international levels to achieve peace and stability in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and in the Great Lakes region, an investment conference would be held in Kigali, Rwanda, March 18-20, 2020.

Named Great Lakes Investment and Trade Conference (GLITC), which is designed to open up the region for investment opportunities for investors across the world for development, is a follow-up action to the first Private Sector Investment Conference, held in 2016 in Kinshasa.

The conference is targeted at mobilising private sector investments into the region in order to harness the extensive natural resources and existing economic opportunities that could be catalytic in creating shared prosperity and destiny for the region.

Jiaming Miao, political affairs/liaison officer, special envoy to the secretary general for the Great Lake Region, said private sector collaborative investments were highly needed in the region as they bore the potential to contribute to the collective efforts towards sustainable peace, stability and the transformation of the Great Lakes region. “The conference will focus on cross-border trade and investment as catalysts for regional integration, which constitutes the theme of the conference,” he said.

According to Miao, the conference would showcase the region’s investment opportunities in identified projects, across agriculture, energy, finance, ICT, infrastructure, mining and tourism.

Some 700 participants include government representatives, CEOs of international companies active in the region, CEOs of prospective investors, equity firms and banking institutions, pension funds and sovereign wealth funds, bilateral and multilateral development institutions are expected to attend the investment conference.

Others include high-level segment with heads of governments, high profile investors and dignitaries. There would also be industry-specific sessions and exhibition stands for member states to showcase their country-specific projects.

It has been said that the region, especially DRC, houses a number of resources needed in global market in large commercial quantities. For example, of the $15-20 billion that is required annually till 2030 to achieve universal energy access in Sub-Sahara Africa, DRC’s estimated hydroelectric potential represents 23 percent of the global potential and 52 percet of the African reserves, said Miao.

In agriculture, according to Miao, 30 percent of global arable land sits in the Great Lake Region. Investing in agriculture, including its value-added chains, in the region would take care of food security and growing global food demand, he said.

In mining, global thirst for energy and petroleum due to industrial growth, explosive demand from electronics manufacturers for rare minerals and increased demand for gold, silver and diamonds from emerging markets have increased the demands for minerals, globally.

“Governments of the region are increasingly positioning themselves as hubs for mining processing,” said Miao.

The conference will identify business opportunities, expand network of top business contacts, promote businesses and brands, gain strategic insights and be a driving force in the private sector for peace, prosperity in region.


Odinaka Anudu

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