UK-Africa Investment Summary (London, January 2020)
I am delighted to be here in the backdrop of the UK-Africa Investment Summit to talk on the future of our evolving and exciting relationship with Africa.
This is a crucial moment of change and renewal for us all. As yesterday’s Summit highlighted, Africa has substantial economic potential and we want the UK to be the investment partner of choice for African nations.
Africa is a continent that is reinventing itself in the most remarkable way. A young and aspirational population. Some of the fastest growing economies in the world. Growing stability. Emerging democracy.
The IMF estimates that Africa is home to eight of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies. By 2050, over 2 billion people will live in Africa and 1 in 4 global consumers will be African. These thriving, young, innovative and rapidly growing populations provide new, exciting opportunities for UK and African businesses to trade and invest. In thirty years’, time, over 2 billion people will live in Africa and 1 in 4 global consumers will be African.
This week is a critical week in Parliament as we hope to finally pass through the EU Withdrawal Bill. As we anticipate leaving the European Union on 31st January, we want a closer trading partnership with African nations. We want to help African countries get the investment they want. Currently, African countries receive less than 4% of global foreign direct investment.
As our Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday, the UK is open for trade and we are bringing together British and African businesses so that we can harness the huge potential of the continent.
As the Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Rwanda and Uganda, I have been listening to African businesses when they say they want mutually beneficial partnerships that move beyond aid and attract quality investment to drive green and sustainable growth and create jobs.
This is where the UK will come in to help create new lasting partnerships that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth across Africa.
The UK is open for trade and Summit has brought together British and African businesses so we can harness our true potential. We have already signed trade agreements with 11 African countries, and we will make it easier for UK and African businesses to trade and invest.
On their behalf of everyone here, I thank you for this unique opportunity. This Summit represents the dawn of a new era. We are all tremendously excited for our future relationship with Africa post-Brexit and the opportunities it will bring.