On the margins of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York last week, Invest Africa – a leading pan-African trade and investment platform – hosted a US-Africa Investment Forum at which Kenyan President William Ruto underscored the urgency of addressing climate change as well as Africa’s potential to lead the energy transition.
This year, African leaders at UNGA united to emphasise the continent’s transformation from a passive participant in the global order to an assertive partner actively seeking collaboration, not marginalisation. From South African President Cyril Ramaphosa’s plea for Africa to “reclaim its role as a beacon of human advancement” to Nigerian President Obi Tinubu’s call for viewing the continent as “genuine allies and collaborators,” Africa resounded its need for a more significant presence in multilateral institutions.
The US-Africa Investment Forum, held in partnership with the Milken Institute, included a fireside chat with President Ruto and Michael Milken, chairman of the Milken Institute, where President Ruto reiterated these calls for partnership and investment opportunities. He emphasised the role of credit rating agencies in shaping Africa’s investment landscape, highlighting concerns about the nature of creditworthiness assessments and their impact on emerging economies.
Africa Finance Corporation President and CEO Samaila Zubairu and Standard Chartered Bank Managing Director Kevin Garrow gave keynote speeches, followed by a stellar panel discussion on innovation and emerging trends in climate finance across Africa, with participation from USAID, Namibia government, Standard Chartered Bank, Cross Boundary, Eurasian Resources Group and Xcalibur Multiphysics moderated by Semafor Climate and Energy Editor Tim McDonnell.
Karen Taylor, CEO of Invest Africa, expressed her gratitude, stating: “It was a great privilege to host William Ruto, President of the Republic of Kenya, on the sidelines of this year’s UN General Assembly. In an era when multilateralism is seemingly in retreat across the globe, witnessing President Ruto and numerous African leaders seizing the spotlight in New York is deeply encouraging. President Ruto’s leadership on climate and sustainable investment is inspiring and we look forward to supporting his efforts to fortify the continent’s climate resilience and propel climate-smart investments into African markets.”
Kevin Garrow, Managing Director and Head of Natural Renewable Resources and Industrials – Americas at Standard Chartered Bank, commented: “The UN General Assembly remains a steadfast fixture on the multilateral calendar, and Standard Chartered was pleased to partner with Invest Africa and the Milken Institute engaging with leaders in the markets we serve. Africa has been an enduring cornerstone of our growth narrative for well over a century, and we look forward to collaborating with President Ruto and his administration to unlock sustainable finance opportunities, propelling Kenya and the broader continent towards a low-carbon future.”
Invest Africa is a leading pan-African business platform that promotes trade and investment across the continent. With over to years’ experience, Invest Africa says its network is made up of more than 400 global organisations, private investors, fund managers, family offices, policy makers and entrepreneurs. Together they share a desire to build opportunity across the African continent.
As the trusted entry point into Africa, the organization adds, its support and connect business and investment through a unique range of services, from leading business conferences and bespoke trade and investment missions to sector specialist event programmes and consultancy projects.
- A Tell report