Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 January 2020:
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is calling for the UK to be the ‘investment partner of choice’ for African countries, The UK-Africa Investment Summit in London is expected to generate new opportunities in Africa for businesses across the UK.
The UK he said has unique expertise and innovation in technology, clean growth, infrastructure and finance which can feed the continent’s demand for sustainable growth.
Hosted by the Prime Minister, the UK-Africa Investment Summit brings together 21 African countries with UK and African companies. This is the first time governments and businesses from the UK and Africa have come together for an event of this scale.
Deals worth billions of pounds will be announced at the Summit. These will drive jobs and growth in all parts of the UK and in Africa, benefitting a range of British companies from family firms to major multinationals.
All new investments will reflect the Prime Minister’s commitment to build long-term, sustainable relationships in Africa underpinned by our values and high standards.
Addressing dozens of African leaders at the opening of today’s summit, the Prime Minister spoke about modern partnerships, with examples of UK businesses like Dorset-based Low Energy Designs, which is installing smart street lighting across Nigeria, Northern Irish firm Lagan which has won the contract to build a business park in Uganda, and Diageo which is investing £167 million to build a state of the art, environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and wider East Africa.
The Prime Minister announced an end to UK support for thermal coal mining or coal power plants overseas, ending direct Official Development Assistance, investment and export credit.
This announcement forms part of the UK’s wider commitment to use its expertise and experience to help Africa transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable, sustainable forms of clean energy.
In 2019 the UK went a record 83 days without generating electricity from coal. The UK was also the first major economy to set a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and Glasgow will host the COP UN Climate Change Summit later this year.
The Prime Minister is meeting 16 African leaders attending the Summit – including President Sisi of Egypt, President Kenyatta of Kenya, President Buhari of Nigeria, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Kagame of Rwanda, and African business leaders including CEO of Standard Bank Gert Vogel and CEO of Investec Hendrik Du Toit.
He is also meeting prominent UK business leaders including the CEO of Vodafone Nick Read, CEO of BP Bernard Looney, CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen Keith Skeoch, CEO G4S Ashley Martin Almanza, CEO of Associated British Foods George Weston, and CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group David Schwimmer.
The Prime Minister will also visit the Summit’s ‘Business and Innovation Hub’, where he will meet young entrepreneurs from the UK and Africa and try out examples of their creative technology that is improving lives across the world.
The Summit involves a number of sessions with speakers from government and business in the UK and Africa. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Development Secretary Alok Sharma, Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom will also be representing the UK Government.
Tonight, the British Prime Minister, African Heads of State and Government and a number of British and African business leaders are attending a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Duke of Cambridge.
The UK government has today announced the launch of the Growth Gateway – a service that will help businesses access the UK government’s trade, investment and finance offer for Africa – all in one place.
The service will comprise of:
• online information: a section of great.gov.uk will provide up-to-date information on the UK government’s trade, investment and finance offer, as well as African market guides, UK sector guides and a tool to help businesses understand what support they may need, and how best to access it; the content will be available in English, French and Portuguese
• a UK-based team of trade and investment professionals: to help African firms export to the UK, find investment partners, and help UK and international companies to trade with and invest in Africa; the team will work closely with Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith
Growth Gateway’s online service will be available for all African, UK and international businesses. Additional support will be accessible to businesses seeking to combine commercial development with social impact in Africa.
Growing prosperity through trade and investment
The UK government is determined to provide support for African businesses to find trade and investment partners and access UK advice and expertise.
For UK businesses, the service offers further assistance to help British businesses to find new business partners and capitalise on opportunities for international growth in African markets.