12th Renaissance Capital Investor Conference Examines SSA Growth

Renaissance Capital, a leading emerging and frontier markets investment bank, held its 12th Annual Pan-Africa Investor Conference on 7-10 September 2021.

Renaissance Capital, a leading emerging and frontier markets investment bank, held its 12th Annual Pan-Africa Investor Conference from the 7th to 10th September 2021.

For the first time, the event included a specialist Nigeria Tech / Fintech Conference that was held on 9 September and covered every aspect of the fast-growing and high-opportunity sector – from digital payments and digital lenders to logistic companies, to neo-banks and digital wealth management, with speakers representing incumbent companies as well as new burgeoning players.

 Renaissance Capital’s 12th Annual Pan-Africa Investor Conference brought together leading companies from Nigeria, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. The event saw over 150 one-on-one meetings between 42 corporations and over 150 investors, representing over 70 significant international and local investment funds with total AUMs over $4.1trn. The public part of the conference provided access to macroeconomic updates on the region and first-hand opinions from some of the region’s most prominent policymakers and business leaders. 

The conference opened with a global economy and Africa presentation, delivered by Charles Robertson, Global Chief Economist, Head of Macro Strategy Unit, Renaissance Capital, and his conversation with Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director, African Department, IMF. The interview mainly focused on the hot topic of SDR allocation.

 Abebe Aemro Selassie, Director, African Department, IMF, said: “One of the big things that have been happening over the past four months is a recognition by the international community that there is going to be a need for low-income countries to have access to adequate financing to support the reforms they need to do to enjoy a robust recovery and reverse a lot of deterioration in social indicators. The SDR allocation offers an opportunity to do this, but it is an exciting idea to go beyond. There is a desire at the IMF to explore long-term financing options aimed at climate change challenges or digitalization. And if we do not want to be susceptible to more shocks, we will need to support transformation and structural change. The only way that a region can enjoy strong growth is through economic reforms, and financing can facilitate that.” 

The conference proceeded with a panel discussion on ‘Navigating an economic recovery amid a pandemic’ with Tobias Rasmussen, Resident Representative in Kenya, IMF, and Dr. Hassan Mahmud, Director, Monetary Policy Department, Central Bank of Nigeria.

 Tobias Rasmussen, Resident Representative in Kenya, IMF, said: “As with the rest of the world, the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic was a big shock for the Kenyan economy. But from what we see now, the shock appears to be relatively short-lived, with activity recovering robustly. Covid is not over, of course, with case numbers still high, and only a small fraction of the Kenyan population has been vaccinated. Still, from an economic perspective, it seems that businesses and people have been able to adjust and get on to a large extent. We see improvements in many indicators on the domestic side, including the output of cement and electricity and in the PMI Index. On the external side, imports have substantially increased across all categories, reflecting a general pick-up in activity and robust demand. Credit to the private sector has been expanding in the financial sector – slowly but expanding, and the ratio of NPLs has been broadly stable. Moreover, deposits growth has been strong, and the usage of mobile money has increased sharply.”