CAPE TOWN – Sekunjalo chairperson Dr Iqbal Survé is set to head up a $1 billion (R14bn) Belt and Road Africa Fund that was announced on the sidelines of the annual World Economic Forum (WEF) Summer Davos Meeting, which is underway in Dalian, China.
The fund will focus on investments in Africa, which will include co-investments in infrastructure, technology, eCommerce, artificial intelligence (AI) and the beneficiation of the resource industry in Africa. Most importantly, the fund will serve as a bridge between African and Chinese businesses, thus strengthening, particularly, the co-operation between business sectors in China and Africa.
Survé, along with several Chinese family offices and business people, launched the fund, which will be capitalised with $1bn from Chinese investors.
“The discussions that we’ve had with Chinese businesspeople, state-owned enterprises and family offices, have resulted in the establishment of this fund. Africa is ready to grow and is heading towards a $5 trillion economy. The Chinese have seen how China was able to grow from 1980 when China made up only 2 percent of the global gross domestic product (GDP) when compared to today, where China makes up 19 percent of the global GDP. This fund is a great boost for the development of Africa,” Survé said.
The Sekunjalo chairperson stressed that while the focus of the fund will be on the continent, South Africa would be one of the beneficiaries.
The Belt and Road Africa Business Council, of which Survé is the chairperson-designate, will be launched in September, with a target membership of at least 1 000 Chinese and African companies. This follows the Survé’s appointment to the Belt and Road News Network Council and Think Tank, earlier this year.
Survé is the immediate past chairperson of the BRICS Business Council for South Africa and in his final year, was also the Business Council Chairman for the BRICS countries. The Belt and Road Initiative, as outlined by Chinese President, Xi Jinping, is one of the most important developments of China and its contribution to the global economy.
Survé said that the fund will announce the sectors in which it will make the investments as well as the format of these investments, at the launch in September.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE