The UK Department of International trade has announced that it will host the second UK-Africa Investment Conference early next year. The conference will be a one-day virtual event and will be held on January 20.
The first UK-Africa Investment Conference was held in January this year. It was hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and was marked by the signing of 27 trade and investment deals worth more than £6.5-billion, as well as the announcement of commitments worth £8.9-billion.
The conference will have four main focus areas, namely sustainable infrastructure, renewable energy, financial and professional services, and agriculture and agri-tech. These priorities were determined with the help of the recently created Africa Investors Group, a body composed of some of the biggest British investors in Africa. The overall aim is to promote sustainable, inclusive and resilient investment in Africa.
January is also the month in which new trade agreements between the UK and 14 partners in Africa (countries and economic blocs) will come into force. Another 35 African partners will receive preferential access to the UK market. These new arrangements, plus the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, could, London believed, create new opportunities for both African and UK business.
“Despite the current global economic context, the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger,” affirmed UK Investment Minister (equivalent to Deputy Minister in South Africa) Gerry Grimstone. “Growing investment relationships will be central in helping economies recover and build back better from the disruption caused by Coronavirus. Africa’s economic potential and investment opportunities are huge, and our partnership will help ensure UK and African businesses are able to capitalise on trade and investment opportunities, now and in the future.”
“The Africa Investment Conference will build on the achievements of 2020’s landmark UK-Africa Investment Summit,” stated Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa Emma Wade-Smith. “Connecting British businesses to the wealth of opportunities that exists across African markets and supporting them in the realisation of their commercial projects is at the heart of our work. With the global disruption to markets caused by Covid-19, investment will be vital to accelerate the UK and Africa’s economic recovery. I am proud that the investment partnerships that exist between Africa and the UK continue to sustain jobs and improve lives.”