Press release

Africa business opportunities encouraged by HMTC UK tour

HM Trade Commissioner for Africa travelled across the UK to encourage businesses to embrace export and investment opportunities in the continent.

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The Department for International Trade (DIT)’s HM Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, and her team met with businesses of different sizes to discuss investment and export opportunities in Africa. They visited companies in regions across the UK, from Scotland to South West England.

Africa is predicted to be home to 8 of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies in the world this year. This growth brings an increasing range of business opportunities, including strong and growing demand for clean, sustainable and innovative investment.

DIT has worked to support a range of UK businesses from various sectors to embrace exports and investment opportunities in Africa over a week-long tour across the UK.

Home to some of the world’s most enterprising technologies and the global financial centre of the City of London, the UK is well placed to meet the growing demand from countries across Africa, and be the continent’s business partner of choice.

The HMTC’s tour follows work started at the UK-Africa Investment Summit, hosted by the Prime Minister in January in London.

That Summit celebrated the £36 billion of trade between Africa and the UK, showcased some of the £38.7 billion of long-term investment and paved the way for lasting partnerships between the UK and African countries to deliver more investment, jobs and sustainable growth.

As part of her visit, HM Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, chaired the inaugural Africa Investors Group (AIG) meeting in London, which brought together some of the UK’s long-term investors in Africa.

This initiative - which was announced alongside more than £6.5 billion of commercial deals on Summit day on 20 January - will help ensure the right support for existing UK investors in Africa and will bring this experience to bear in supporting more UK companies to invest in the African continent.

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, said:

There are a wealth of opportunities for UK companies across the diverse and dynamic markets of Africa.

It was important to me to meet companies from across the UK so soon after the UK-Africa Investment Summit, to hear from businesses and understand how we can continue to strengthen our support for UK companies – of any size and from any sector – to help them do good business in Africa.

What I have heard is a strong and growing interest from UK businesses to better understand and explore the opportunities Africa’s fast-growing economies and young, highly urbanised populations are generating.

This includes education and skills; healthcare; agri-tech; infrastructure; and energy, all underpinned by technology.

I believe our shared values and ambitions to create jobs and build shared prosperity through inclusive and sustainable economic growth make the UK and Africa natural partners in business.

By working collaboratively across the private and public sectors, we can drive more investment flows and create bankable investment opportunities for UK companies across the African region.

Published 9 March 2020