South Africa
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Omicron delays African Development Bank investment forum in Ivory Coast

Abidjan  — The African Development Bank (AfDB) has postponed to an unspecified date its planned December 1-3 investment forum in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, due to health concerns and travel restrictions over the Omicron coronavirus variant, the bank's president said on Monday.

“We were looking forward to attracting more foreign direct investments in Africa, but in life man proposes and God disposes,” AfDB president Akinwumi Adesina said during a news conference in Abidjan.

Several heads of state including from SA, Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda and Mozambique and a delegation from the US that included investors representing more than $1.6-trillion in assets under management, were expected to attend the forum.

The AfDB said the forum had 118 deals in its pipeline from all eight founding members, with an investment value of more than $110bn.

Adesina said conversations around the funding of projects would continue behind the scene.

“The emergence of the Omicron variant has changed everything. Travel has been cancelled, travel restrictions have been placed here and there. The logistics of travel is very difficult. Delegations that wanted to travel, can’t make it,” Adesina said.

“It is very important that we put safety first, it is for that reason that with a lot of regrets ... we have decided to postpone the Africa Investment Forum,” he said.

Reuters