News

UK seeks stronger Africa trade ties with investment conference

Summary

  • It will be hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and by the Department for International Development (DFiD) on January 20.
  • The summit is part of the UK’s ambition to build closer ties with Africa after Brexit which is due to take place by the end of this month.

Britain will hold a major sub-Saharan Africa investment conference on January 20.

It will be hosted by British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and by the Department for International Development (DFiD) on January 20.

The aim is to bring together businesses, governments and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.

The UK is aiming to become the number one investor in Africa by the end of the decade.

The summit is also part of the UK’s ambition to build closer ties with Africa after Brexit which is due to take place by the end of this month.

INVESTMENT

DFiD says that the conference will “will mobilise new and substantial investment to create jobs and boost mutual prosperity.”

Over 60 UK companies currently operate from Kenya, including Barclays Bank #ticker:BBK, British Airways, BAT #ticker:BAT, Standard Chartered Bank #ticker:SCBK, Diageo, GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, De La Rue, Finlays, G4S, Tullow Oil and BG Group.

Britain also remains one of the largest foreign investors in Kenya with bilateral trade totalling over £1.3 billion (Sh173 billion).

Horticulture (which includes fresh vegetables, flowers and fruit) and beverages (coffee and tea) are responsible for 90 percent of total Kenyan exports to the UK. However, the UK’s share in Kenyan exports fell from 16 percent in 2001 to seven percent by 2014, as vegetables and flowers lost competitiveness to countries such as Rwanda and Ethiopia.

Kenya currently only has a small share in the stock of UK foreign direct investment (FDI) to Africa, which itself is only two percent of the total UK FDI stock (2015). But in terms of Kenya’s inward flows of FDI, the UK is a major source, contributing 40 percent of Kenya’s total FDI inward flows.