Trade Secretary: UK is Africa’s investment partner of choice for green transition

  • UK to host second Africa Investment Conference focusing on sustainable investing to support the continent’s transition to clean growth
  • Government launches Growth Gateway to boost UK-Africa trade relationship, after record £2.3bn support from UK Export Finance
  • Video address by Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the opening of a virtual event attended by British and African ministers, business leaders and the WTO Director-General

The UK is hosting the second Africa Investment Conference today (20 January 2022) to boost economic cooperation with African nations and strengthen its role as the continent’s investment partner of choice for greener and greener projects. climate friendly.

Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan is hosting the one-day virtual event which aims to unlock millions of pounds in new investment, particularly in clean energy industries in the UK and all over Africa.

In a “virtual fireside chat” with WTO Director-General Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Commerce Secretary will say that sustainable trade and investment are key to reducing global inequality, improving savings, increase incomes and create jobs.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

Two years after the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger.

The continent has huge economic potential and our continued partnership will help businesses take advantage of investment opportunities, support high value jobs and boost businesses in all parts of the UK.

This year’s conference focuses on the importance of resilient and sustainable investments to support Africa as it moves towards a more environmentally friendly growth trajectory, and I look forward to working with continent’s leaders as they continue on this path towards a greener future.

Following the hosting of COP26 in the UK, this year’s conference will explore how investment can contribute to Africa’s transition to a cleaner and greener growth trajectory.

In a sign of the growing partnership between the two regions in the field of clean growth, the British sustainable battery technology company Aceleron has concluded an investment agreement with Mobility 54 Investment SAS, a subsidiary of the Toyota group, as part of its cycle £5m Series A funding round. to accelerate the development and use of sustainable batteries in Africa.

Alongside the environmental benefits, increased trade and investment with developing countries creates opportunities for UK businesses and consumers – for example, lower prices and opening up fast-growing markets for UK exporters.

To strengthen UK-Africa partnerships, the UK is today launching a new Growth Gateway – a digital tool to connect African and UK businesses to trade, finance and investment services and opportunities of the British government.

The service provides practical online assistance to African companies wishing to export and invest in the UK, as well as UK companies wishing to export and invest in Africa, supported by a team of trade and investment specialists.

This follows an increased effort across government to facilitate trade between the UK and Africa, including that of UK Export Finance (UKEF). The UK Export Credit Agency has significantly increased its support for African markets over the past year, from around £600m in 2018-19 to over £2.3bn in 2020-21, supporting a range of infrastructure projects in countries ranging from Ivory Coast to Uganda.

Investment Minister Gerry Grimstone said:

At the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, the Prime Minister declared his intention to make the UK an investment partner of choice for Africa.

This year’s conference is a key part of that legacy, bringing together our business communities to advocate for a closer investment partnership with a renewed focus on sustainability and clean growth.

Africa Minister Vicky Ford said:

The UK is deepening its economic ties with countries in Africa. This conference is a fantastic opportunity to bring together UK and African businesses to unlock millions of pounds of new investment, especially in clean energy industries in the UK and across Africa.

There is so much more the UK and African countries can do together. Growth Gateway will make it easier than ever for African and UK businesses to access the support they need to boost two-way trade and investment.

Last year’s virtual conference brought together over 2,800 delegates from over 40 African countries and across the UK.

Vimal Seeboruth, managing director of electric vehicle manufacturer Arrival Ltd, said:

The conference [in 2021] was excellent and a great way to bring together British and African businesses.

By participating, we gained a much better understanding of the support mechanisms and points of contact that we can use to grow our business in Africa.

Notes to Editors

  • The Africa Investment Conference aligns with the UK’s objectives of promoting trade and investment as an engine of economic growth that can trigger positive changes in a country’s economy, by helping to raise incomes, create jobs and lift people out of poverty.
  • It is expected to bring together over 4,000 registered delegates for a series of panel discussions and matchmaking opportunities, and represents the lasting legacy of the UK-Africa Investment Summit hosted in London by Prime Minister Boris Johnson in 2020. , where 27 trade and investment representatives deals worth £6.5 billion and other commitments worth £8.9 billion were announced.
  • The Secretary of State will appear alongside a group of renowned speakers, including the Director General of the World Trade Organization, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, the Secretary General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA ), HE Wamkele Mene, Dr Vera Songwe, the Under Secretary General and Executive Secretary of the Economic Commission for Africa, United Nations, UK Minister for Investment Lord Grimstone and UK Minister for Africa Vicky Ford MP.

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