UK challenged to double investment in Africa by 2027

UK challenged to double investment in Africa by 2027

At the opening session of the UK’s Africa Investment Conference, taking place online today, the Cameroonian economist lamented that British FDI in Africa “remains frustratingly low”, representing 3% of total FDI in Africa since 2009. .

“This is not sustainable. It does not contribute to a strong British-African relationship,” he said, noting that the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) represented an opportunity to double British investment to 6% of total foreign direct investment in Africa. by 2027.

Songwe spoke after Boris Johnson, who claimed that the UK is already “one of Africa’s largest trading partners”, with the signing of trade agreements with nine countries and the African Continental Free Trade Area.

And out of about 600 million pounds (720 million euros) between 2018-2019, the state invested in 2020-2021 more than 2,200 million pounds (2640 million euros), exceeding the goals “despite the unprecedented turmoil caused by the epidemic.” CDC Group, the British government’s development financial institution.

Among the projects it has supported are renewable energy projects in South Africa, Egypt and Nigeria.

The British prime minister defended that “the green industrial revolution will save humanity from catastrophic climate change” and that the country, which is hosting the COP26 climate summit, wants to be the “partner of choice” in this field.

But Vera Songwe calls for investment in Africa beyond renewable energies, such as medicine, agriculture, food processing, transportation and natural gas.

“Africa has huge and huge gas reserves. We expect not just big investments, but small investments that can help us distribute energy. (…) I think that increasing this kind of investment in the continent will make us move beyond 3% to 6% very quickly.”

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This is the UK’s second investment conference in Africa, which is being organized “to strengthen economic cooperation with African countries and to enhance the continent’s role as an investment partner for green and environmentally friendly projects”.

Over 4,000 participants, including from Mozambique and Angola, registered to attend a series of panel discussions and access networking opportunities.

The UK’s first Africa Investment Summit was held in London in 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic, with Mozambican President Filipe Nyusi present.

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