The UK-Africa Investment Summit held on Monday saw attendance from dignitaries and delegates from 16 African countries, including President El Sisi of Egypt and Boris Johnson British Prime Minister.
During his opening speech, Prime Minister Johnson said “Look around the world today and you will swiftly see that the UK is not only the obvious partner of choice, we’re also very much the partner of today, of tomorrow and decades to come,”
He referred to Africa as a booming continent with “staggering levels of growth”
This was the first UK-Africa Investment Summit hosted by the UK Government. It was attended by the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, the international development secretary, Alok Sharma and Prince Harry.
A plenary panel discussion on ‘Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure – Unlocking the City of London and UK financial services for growth in Africa’ was discussed by the president of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta, Ghana’s President Nana Akufo Addo, President of Mauritania, Mohamed Ould Cheikh el Ghazouani, African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina and MP Alok Sharma, Secretary of State for International Development.
Akinwumi Adesina President African Development Bank announced a new $80 million Bank-DFID infrastructure financing partnership.
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According to Adesina, the continent’s $68 to $108 billion infrastructure investment gap per year is massive. Which he said depending on how you look at it, it’s either the cup is half full or half empty and to them, that is a $68 to $108 billion opportunity.
Adesina added, “The issue of risk in Africa is exaggerated. The risk of loss is lower than in Latin America. Yet, funds are not being channelled into Africa. There are $8 trillion of assets under management in London, but only 1 per cent is invested in Africa.”
UK Secretary of State for International Development, MP Alok Sharma said that Africa has a fabulous future. He announced five partnerships to mobilise quality infrastructure investment in the private sector. He added that the city of London can mobilize resources for Africa.
In the world, the African continent is home to eight of the 15 fastest-growing economies. By 2030, 42% of the world’s youth will be African and will constitute an incredible workforce and potential consumers.