After Japan, U.S.A. and Russia, African leaders flying to Saudi Arabia for third future investment initiative Updated for 2021

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Updated: March 7, 2021

African leaders are flying out again. This time, they are going to Saudi Arabia for the third Future Investment Initiative (FII), an annual investment forum held in Riyadh to discuss trends in the world economy and investment environment.

Last September, dozens of African presidents and heads of state and government were in the United States for the United Nations General Assembly in New York. This month, about 50 African presidents and heads of state and government were in Russia for the first ever Russia-Africa Summit in Sochi. That summit came only days after virtually all African finance ministers and central bank governors gathered in Washington D.C. for the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Annual Meetings a few steps from the White House.

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It also took place on the back of the 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development in Yokohama in August.

This week, they would be in Saudi Arabia for the Future Investment Initiative (FII) hosted by the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia (PIF).

That international platform for expert-led debate between global leaders, investors and innovators with the power to shape the future of global investment is focused on utilizing investment to drive growth opportunities, enable innovation and disruptive technologies, and address global challenges.

Organizers expect the third edition of FII to continue building active, global networks of influential decision makers to explore the emerging industries that will shape the global economy and investment landscape over the coming decades.​

The first edition was held in October 2017 and featured the announcements of the launch of NEOM, a proposed $500 billion independent economic zone in the northwest of Saudi Arabia.

More than 6000 people from at least 30 countries are expected to participate in the forum and listen to more than 275 speakers.

The Nigerian leader is already on his way, his office said in a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA on Monday morning.

“President Muhammadu Buhari leaves the country today on an official trip to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to attend Economic Forum of the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Riyadh,” his spokesman Femi Adesina said in a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA USA.

“On the sideline of the event, President Buhari will hold bilateral talks with His Majesty King Salman and His Majesty King Abdullah ll of Jordan.

“On Wednesday, 30th October, 2019, the  President will participate in the High Level Event titled “What is Next for Africa: How will Investment and Trade Transform the Continent into the Next Great Economic Success Story?” with Presidents of Kenya, Congo-Brazzaville and Burkina Faso.

“At the end of the summit, President Buhari will on Saturday 2nd November, 2019, proceed to the United Kingdom on a private visit. He is expected to return to Nigeria on 17th November, 2019″.

The Public Investment Fund (PIF) is the sovereign wealth fund of Saudi Arabia, which is among the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world with total estimated assets of $320 billion.

 It was founded for the purpose of investing funds on behalf of the Government of Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi government aims at transferring the PIF from a mere local authority to the largest sovereign fund in the world.

PIF is working on managing assets worthing $400 billion by 2020.

The PIF has a portfolio made up of approximately 200 investments, of which around 20 are listed on Tadawul, the Saudi Stock Exchange.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

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