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First Djibouti Forum sets stage for increased investment

By our staff reporter ,

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The first Djibouti Forum is said to have set the stage for future deals to increase investment in the Horn of Africa country.

Djibouti’s president, Ismaïl Omar Guelleh, declared that his nation was prepared to collaborate with foreign investors in order to expand its private industry and broaden its economic base.

 During his speech at the Djibouti Forum, where he was greeted by world-renowned leaders, the president cordially encouraged investors who were eager to explore the many facets of the nation’s economy.

 He assured them that they would discover a plethora of unexplored prospects, an atmosphere conducive to business, and the resolute backing of his administration.

According to a statement from the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Djibouti sent to Capital, the inaugural Djibouti Forum brought together nearly 400 delegates, including international institutional investors collectively overseeing a staggering USD 2.5 trillion in assets.

Describing the forum as a “resounding success,” Slim Feriani, CEO of the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Djibouti, noted that it was evident that there “is great and growing interest in Djibouti.”

During the closing ceremony of the two-day event held from May 13 to 14, Feriani signed a memorandum of understanding with Tamini Insurance, part of the influential Salaam Group, a leading financial conglomerate in Djibouti. Tamini Insurance’s CEO, Mohamed Bahdon, announced that under the agreement, their clients—numbering over 4,000—will now have access to Djibouti’s first crowdfunding platform, Inclufin.

Through this platform, Tamini Insurance clients can invest in socially impactful entrepreneurial ventures in the country while earning returns on their savings. “It’s an opportunity for our clients to invest in promising businesses, including startups and SMEs, and contribute to the country’s entrepreneurial future,” he said.

The Djibouti Forum also witnessed the signing of an agreement between PAIX Data Centres, a prominent data center solutions provider, and Djibouti’s sovereign wealth fund to establish a cutting-edge, cloud-and-carrier-neutral data center in the country.

Feriani expressed confidence that the first Djibouti Forum had laid the groundwork for future deals in additional sectors.

He invited international partners in attendance to join forces with the country’s sovereign wealth fund to unlock the country’s promising economic potential, stating, “To achieve our goal of doubling the economy in ten years, consistent 7% growth is essential. This can be achieved through mutually beneficial partnerships and economic diversification.”

The two-day forum included panels on various topics such as ports, logistics, technology, connectivity, energy, tourism, financial services, and agro-processing. Additionally, it facilitated lively discussions among leading economists, policymakers, and investors about the macroeconomic landscape in Djibouti and Africa.

Speaking on the macroeconomic outlook for Africa and Djibouti, Sampawende Tapsoba, Deputy Chief Economist and Director of Data Management and Model Development at Afreximbank, acknowledged that the country of 1.12 million people was punching above its weight.

 “Djibouti is growing faster than many African economies and has comparatively lower levels of debt-to-GDP,” he said, emphasizing that low levels of debt meant that Djibouti has the fiscal room to meaningfully invest in transformative sectors of the economy.

Charlie Robertson, Head of Macro Strategy at FIM Partners UK, says, “The three things that stood out for me in this forum are ambition, opportunity, and safety.” “The leadership’s ambition in Djibouti is palpable,” he observed, saying that Djibouti is a safe country that remains a beacon of stability in a volatile neighborhood.

The Djibouti Forum was hosted by the Sovereign Wealth Fund of Djibouti (Fonds Souverain de Djibouti), a fund created in March 2020. It is currently under the stewardship of CEO Slim Feriani, a former Tunisian Minister with over 30 years of experience in international capital markets.

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