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France announces €240bn Africa investment fund

Africa Global Funds
Feb. 8, 2015, midnight
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The French government has unveiled a €240bn ($271.56bn) Africa investment fund at the French-African Forum for a Shared Growth in Paris.

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The French government has unveiled a €240bn ($271.56bn) Africa investment fund at the French-African Forum for a Shared Growth in Paris.

French President, Francois Hollande, who unfolded France’s renewed investment plans in Africa described Africa as “our future”.

“It is a continent with great demographic evolution. It has recorded the highest growth in the last few years. It is also a continent full of untapped resources,” he said.

Hollande noted that there was a convergence of cultural links, assuring that France would support Africa better in investment and funding of projects.

The French leader said that Africa stands out as the world’s preferred investment destination, considering its impressive economic growth over the years and abundant unexploited human and natural resources.

The French government is adopting a multi-pronged investment drive in Africa as well as infrastructure funding, according to Hollande.

He also disclosed that an export bank was being put together at the end of March to help African countries access funds.

Michael Sapin, French Minister of Finance and Economy, said that Nigeria would be a major beneficiary of the fund, despite the various challenges.

Sapin said that investing in Africa without Nigeria would be unthinkable, adding that “if you are not in Nigeria, you are not in Africa”.

“With a huge market and investment potentials, no serious investor can ignore Nigeria, given the large population, highly skilled human capital and massive untapped natural resources,” he said.

Sapin said that a contact group has been formed to ensure that  French investors took the centre-stage of business activities in Nigeria and other African countries.

“Perception about Africa is changing rapidly, especially after over a decade of steady impressive economic growth,” said Sapin.

“French investors have to know that France needs Africa. With a budding young population who are highly skilled and entrepreneurial, we must give impetus to this needed collaboration between Africa and France,” he added.

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