ABU DHABI: The Africa Investment Summit, AIS, a two-day event that seeks to enhance dialogue between global, long-term investors and African-based sovereign wealth funds, financial institutions and corporates, opened on Monday in Abu Dhabi.

Hosted by the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, ADIA, the event brings together more than 180 representatives of sovereign wealth funds, global institutional investors, Africa-focused asset managers, banks, corporates and supra-national agencies, among other parties.

Shaikh Hamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Managing Director of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, said, “With young and rapidly growing populations and an emerging middle class, Africa is an increasingly important and attractive market for investors. With their long term outlooks, sovereign wealth funds and other long-term asset owners make ideal investment partners for African organisations seeking stable capital. By bringing these diverse groups together, the AIS aims to identify areas of mutual interest and seek ways to overcome barriers that are hindering long-term investment into the continent.”

By the end of this year Dubai will have logged over Dh1 trillion in non-oil trade with Africa since 2011, Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DCCI) chairman Majid Saif Al Ghurair said on Monday, after having recorded over Dh926 billion at the end of 2018.

He also spoke on how the two regions have seen advancements together in different fields, while providing the world’s second-largest continent a gateway to new markets.

“We are closely monitoring developments and the business climate in Africa to identify growth opportunities available for our members,” Al Ghurair said, adding that the launch of ‘African Continental Free Trade Area’ — a project to create a $3.4 trillion economic bloc — earlier this year helped improve UAE-Africa trade and investments.

Through a series of presentations and workshops, attendees explored Africa’s growing potential as an investment destination and identify actionable ways for long-term asset owners to access appropriate opportunities.

The AIS included sessions on topics such as Africa’s macro-economic outlook, public and private capital markets, infrastructure and high growth sectors. Representatives from 22 countries will participate, including seven African nations, along with senior delegates from 13 sovereign wealth funds.