The UK Government reportedly hosted the second Africa Investment Conference on January 20th, 2022 to boost the nation’s economic cooperation with African countries and also enhance its role as the continent’s chosen investment partner for climate-friendly, green ventures.
Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Secretary of State for International Trade, UK, had hosted the one-day virtual event, which focused on unlocking millions of pounds of new investments, particularly for clean energy sectors in the UK as well as across Africa.
In a virtual ‘fireside’ talk with Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, Trevelyan stated that sustainable trade and investment are important for reducing global inequality, creating jobs, improving economies, and increasing incomes.
Trevelyan added that the focus of this year’s conference is on the importance of sustainable and resilient investment to help Africa as the continent orients itself towards a more environmental-friendly, cleaner and greener future.
The conference had brought together more than 4,000 registered delegates for a series of panel discussions and match-making opportunities.
As a sign of growing partnerships, UK firm Aceleron, a sustainable battery developer, secured an investment deal with Mobility 54 Investment SAS, under its £5 million ($6.7 million) Series A funding round to speed up the development and use of sustainable batteries in the continent.
To further improve partnerships between UK and Africa, the UK has also launched a new digital tool, Growth gateway, which will link British and African businesses to the country’s government trade, finance, and investment opportunities and services.
With this service, practical online support will be provided to African businesses that wish to export to and invest in the UK and to UK businesses that wish to export to and invest in Africa, backed by a trade and investment specialists team.
UK’s export credit agency, UK Export Finance, has significantly increased support for the African market over the last year, going from £600 million ($815 million) in 2018-19 to over £2.3 billion ($3.1 billion) in 2020-21.