21 African countries met in London, Monday, for the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, which included African leaders, UK and African businesses, international institutions and young entrepreneurs.
At the Summit the British Prime Minister committed to building long-term, sustainable relationships in Africa underpinned by the UK’s values and high standards. Muhammadu Buhari led the Nigerian Delegation and held private meetings with Prime Minister Boris Johnson and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.
The Summit was designed to create lasting new partnerships that deliver more investment, jobs and growth, benefitting people and businesses across Nigeria and the UK. The Summit had a strong focus on sustainable energy and on female participation in the economy.
Nigeria and the UK will be partners in a range of initiatives announced during the Summit including:
– Commercial deals worth £324million (over ₦153.4billion) and new UK government assistance to grow the UK-Nigeria trade and investment partnership;
– Significant UK commitments to support Nigeria develop an enabling environment to turbo-charge economic growth, including helping address land issues for investment; strengthening and improving the finance sector; helping entrepreneurs secure access to finance; preparing the ground for the launch in the UK of naira-denominated bonds – “Jollof Bonds”; and developing the tech sector;
– substantial initiatives to accelerate the clean energy transformation in Nigeria, through enhanced technical and financial support;
– strong commitments to harness private sector support for social development, particularly supporting women and young people in business.
Speaking at the Summit, British High Commissioner Catriona Laing, who attended the Summit, said:
“Nigeria was out in force at the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit. President Buhari led the delegation and Nigerian businesses were well represented, ranging from world renowned figures, such as Tony Elumelu, through to female entrepreneurs running start ups.
“Nigeria has already secured billions of naira worth of deals from the Summit. With the launch of an exciting range of initiatives to help investors identify opportunities in Nigeria, I am confident much more will follow.
“I am proud the Summit had a strong focus on supporting female participation in the economy. In Africa, women are more likely to become entrepreneurs than men and, with a fast-growing population, Nigeria needs to harness the dynamism of its women to ensure prosperity for all its people.”
Head of the Department for International Development in Nigeria, Chris Pycroft, who also attended the Summit said:
“The private sector has a critical role to play in supporting Nigeria’s economic growth and in creating the jobs that Nigeria’s young and growing population need. The UK-Africa Investment Summit was an excellent opportunity for Nigeria to show off the wealth of opportunities it offers businesses, from agriculture to mining to tech.
“I am delighted we are able to use our aid programme in Nigeria to support this agenda – from small steps like helping the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission produce an investment guide through to the serious investment we are making in strengthening Nigeria’s agriculture and finance sectors.
“As well as stimulating the economy and creating the jobs needed to lift millions of Nigerians out of poverty, this package of partnerships will deliver a range of wider social benefits, from improving energy access on to extending access to banking and loans to the poorest consumers and female entrepreneurs.”
UK companies in Nigeria
The summit was also able to showcase some of the excellent growth and positive impact of UK companies in Nigeria. The Prime Minister’s speech made substantial reference to West Africa ENRG – a UK firm pioneering waste collection, recycling and – soon – waste to energy power generation in Lagos and the South West.
The exposure and contacts that UK-AIS has given West Africa ENRG and other firms, should support their continued growth and success.
Summary of the key announcements:
The following announcements were made during the UK-Africa Investment Summit
– Deals worth £324 million (over ₦153.4billion) were announced by Savannah (gas assets); Low Energy Designs (street lighting); Trilliant (smart metering for Abuja DisCo); and Tex ATC (airport control room towers).
Trade & Investment Support
– The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) launched 3 major programmes that will benefit African countries, including Nigeria, during the Summit:
- i) £28m (₦13.1billion), Investment Promotion Programme for Nigeria and South Africa to stimulate Foreign Direct Investment and facilitate technology and knowledge transfer
- ii) £37m (₦17.5billion) Growth Gateway programme, offering trade and investment business support services across Africa (joint programme with DFID)
iii) £20m; (₦9.5billion) Trade Connect programme to increase exports from Africa to the rest of the world through the provision of direct support and advice (joint programme with DFID).
– DIT and Asoko Insight launched a new digital DealRoom app matching UK investors to African firms during the Summit.
– DFID funded a new Nigeria Investment Guide, and 9 sector guides for the Nigeria Investment Promotion Commission (NIPC) which will be used to promote investment opportunities at the Summit.
– DFID announced its Manufacturing Africa programme will expand into Nigeria this year, working through investment promotion agencies (both NIPC and state level agencies) to help find more foreign investors for Nigeria and supporting those already in country.
Land for Investment
– The newly launched £55m (₦26billion), Land Transformation Facility will help tackle a key barrier to responsible investors, ensuring land access and markets are lawful and fair.
– Ahead of the Summit, the Department for International Development (DFID) launched the £320m (₦152billion) UK Financial Sector Deepening Platform working in 45 countries in Africa, including Nigeria.
The programme will improve financial systems and regulation, boost green finance products and improve access to banking and loans for poorer consumers and entrepreneurs.
– DFID and the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) announced an IFC Cross-Border Risk Facility, set up using £30m (₦14.2billion) in UK funding. This facility is designed to help countries across Africa access local currency finance and will be used to inform discussions on naira-denominated bonds (Jollof Bonds) – which were a feature of a meeting between the Nigerian Government and investors at the London Stock Exchange on 21 January.
– The UK government announced a Digital Access Programme, investing up to £45m in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa to support inclusive connectivity and digital literacy, build cybersecurity capacity, and establish Tech Hubs to grow the digital economy.
As part of this programme, the “Go Global Africa 2020” training project will empower start-ups with the digital and business skills needed to expand globally.
– DFID launched the £10m (₦4.8billion) Catalyst Fund, which will support 30 start-up fintech companies from Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, India and Mexico with pre-seed capital, bespoke venture capital building support and 1:1 connections with investors to help them establish and scale up their businesses.
– DFID also announced a £800k (₦379million), programme working with the UK Financial Conduct Authority to improve the regulation of fintech companies in Nigeria and Kenya.
Clean Energy Transformation
– Detail will be announced later this week.
– DFID announced a £79m (₦37.4billion), package of support designed to help African governments create development impact bonds to channel private investment towards development projects.
– DFID announced a £3.5m (₦1.7billion), extension to the SheTrades programme to support women-owned businesses in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria.
– The Department for Culture, Media and Sport announced a Female Tech Founders Programme 2020, aimed to overcome the digital gender gap by providing 15 Female Tech Founders from Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa with world-class mentoring, access to UK investors and expert training.
– DFID announced £9m (₦4.3billion), in support for the African Development Bank Africa Centre for Youth Employment, a centre designed to give advice on youth employment policies and initiatives and enable them to be implemented at scale.