- The African Investment Conference is an annual showcase event to create partnership investments projects between African and British investors
- The United Kingdom provided more than US$500 million to support projects in the West African region in 2021
- Research by Investment Monitor shows that the collective gross domestic product of the West African region has exponentially grown from US$105 billion in 2000 to US$659 billion in 2020
The United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) released a report on January 25 showing that the country provided more than US$500 million to support projects in the West African region in 2021.
This is the largest amount the UK has injected to support investments in West Africa in over two decades.
At the African Investment Meeting Conference, Boris Johnson, the UK Prime Minister, confirmed that his country was already one of Africa’s most prominent commercial partners. The United Kingdom is determined to invest more, and Boris added that the shared task was to ensure that the continent prospers from the green industrial revolution.
What entails the African Investment Conference?
The African Investment Conference is an annual showcase event to create partnership investments projects between African and British investors. It is considered one of the leading meetings focusing on Africa’s investment.
There were more than 3,000 delegates that participated in the conference this year, boosting trade and investment ties between the continent and the UK.
The UK government is also mobilizing support from the United Kingdom Export Finance (UKEF) to boost exports to Africa. Prime minister Boris Johnson’s administration, provided support worth US$3.04 billion in 2021.
In West Africa, the support has been directed towards a range of significant infrastructural projects, construction of major roads, environmental and social work, medical services and technological equipment.
Research by Investment Monitor shows that the collective gross domestic product of the West African region has exponentially grown from US$105 billion in 2000 to US$659 billion in 2020. Nigeria, Ghana and Ivory Coast have been the largest economies in West Africa, accounting for nearly 25 per cent of the continent’s GDP. The surge in economic growth provides a unique opportunity for the exporters in the United Kingdom.
UKEF can provide further support for UK trade in West Africa, with up to US$3.97 billion available in Senegal, US$2.64 billion in Cote D’Ivoire, and up to US$2.64 billion in Nigeria.
Gerry Grimsotne, Uk’s Minister for Investment, said that the government wanted more British firms to sell to the world, focusing on new opportunities that present themselves, especially in growing markets. “The government has the finance available to back British firms going global in West Africa, supporting growth and development in the region and helping communities and local economies to thrive.”
UKEF’s Successful investments in West Africa.
- A guarantee worth over US$52.90 million in Ghana for Gloucestershire firm Mabey Bridge to build eighty-seven emergency bridges used to strengthen flood defences.
- UKEF signed its US$312 million largest-ever deal in 2021 to support the construction of six hospitals in the Ivory Coast.
- Over US$159 million worth of support to expand and modernize the Kumasi Market in Ghana, the largest market in West Africa.
- UKEF’s support enabled Leicestershire-based construction equipment supplier Quarry Manufacturing & Supplies to secure a deal worth US$2 million to support road construction in North Tema in Ghana.
- Support worth US$139 million will support the construction, rehabilitation and reinforcement of two already existing roads and the setting up of four bridges to improve trade links between Cote D’Ivoire, Guinea, Ghana, Liberia and Burkina Faso.
- UKEF support in Cote D’Ivoire empowered Dints International to win a contract worth over US$10.58 million to supply the equipment needed for the construction of five high priority road networks in the Côte d’Ivoire.
- A US$55 million guaranteed by UKEF helped British battery technology firm Aceleron secure investment from a subsidiary of Toyota Group to develop repair and reuse batteries.
The United Kingdom has set foot to boost investments in West Africa, in line with the heavy investments set up by other superpowers like China, the United States and Russia. The UK and West Africa relationship is experiencing an upward trend, with Boris Johnson promising that British business would help West Africa prosper from the green industrial revolution.