Prime Minister Theresa May led a 29-strong business delegation on a visit to South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya this week, promoting economic ties between the UK and Africa.
Africa has a vibrant and dynamic economy that is growing at an extraordinary rate.
By 2050, 1 in 4 people on the planet will be African, a quarter of the world’s consumers.
This represents a transformational opportunity for UK firms to increase trade with African nations.
During the visit, deals worth more than £300 million have been agreed within a variety of sectors, creating close to 3,000 jobs across Africa.
The commercial activity was announced this week as the Prime Minister set out the UK’s ambition to be the largest G7 investor in Africa by 2022, ahead of an Africa Investment Summit which will be held in the UK next year.
Prime Minister Theresa May said: “The deals being announced today demonstrate the already close trade and investment links between the UK and African countries, and the potential that exists for other UK businesses to make the most of the growing opportunities on the continent.
“With a shared passion for entrepreneurship, technology and innovation, now is the time for UK companies to strengthen their partnerships with Africa to boost jobs and drive prosperity both at home and overseas.”
While in Kenya, the Prime Minister appointed Pauline Latham OBE, MP for Mid Derbyshire, as the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Kenya.
She will work to build on the UK’s existing relationship with Kenya, increasing bilateral trade and generating long-term benefits for both countries.
As part of the visit, the Prime Minister also announced that an agreement with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique means we will be ready to carry over the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreement as soon as the EU deal no longer applies to the UK.
Mrs May also announced this week that UK Export Finance has increased its ability to support exports to a further 8 markets across Africa and made an extra £5.5 billion available to UK exporters and their African buyers to finance export deals, in a move to grow British exports to Africa, which exceeded £17 billion last year.
The UK-Africa trade relationship is already worth more than £31 billion.
A slew of deals have already been secured for companies of all sizes across a range of sectors.
Sheffield-based tech firm The Floow have secured a £1m deal to help an insurance company price their policies more fairly according to how people drive.
Digital money transfer service Azimo has announced a strategic partnership with leading African payments business Interswitch Group which will further enable instant money transfers from 23 countries in Europe to any customer in Nigeria - Azimo’s biggest market.
Finlays Tea has signalled a commitment to Kenya with £66 million further investment in the country over the next five years. F
Meanwhile Mobius Motors, which designs and manufactures durable, affordable vehicles for Africa is commissioning a new factory in Nairobi.
InspiraFarms is expanding its operations in Kenya also with a £1 million investment, which will help them roll out agricultural technology to new companies.
And Hydro Industries, a water technology company in Llangennech, has joined forces with the leading construction firm Dawnus and the highly respected School of Management at Swansea University to offer comprehensive solutions for some of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
International Trade Minister George Hollingbery added: “I am delighted to have joined the Prime Minister on this visit showcasing the very best of the UK-Africa partnership and all that Global Britain has to offer in the region.
“Our trade and investment ties with South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria are already substantial. Trade between the UK and Africa was worth more than £31bn last year, and the Prime Minister has made it the UK’s ambition to be the largest G7 investor in Africa by 2022.
“It is hugely positive to see these new deals signalling that our strong trading relationship is continuing to go from strength to strength.”
Our BQ Bulletin emails will land in your inbox at 7.30am, Monday to Friday, with a mix of the latest local business news, national news, and features to inspire you. Sign up here!
Click here to read our privacy statement