African Construction Trade receives boost from UK Export Finance
UK Export Finance has increased its support for construction projects in Africa, and launched the Growth Gateway tool for business between the UK and Africa.
UK Export Finance (UKEF), the UK government's Export Credits Guarantee Department, held its second Africa Investment Conference in January this year (2022). The main aim of the conference was to strengthen economic ties with African nations, with a focus on green, climate-friendly, projects.
During the conference it was revealed that the UKEF's investments in Africa increased from £600 million in 2018-19 to over £2.3 billion in 2020-21.
Construction projects in Africa supported by UKEF in 2021 included:
1) Expansion and modernisation of Ghana’s Kumasi Market which is the largest West African market frequented by over 800,000 people, with an investment of over £120 million.
2) Gloucestershire – based Mabey Bridge secured a contract to build and export 87 emergency bridges in Ghana for flood-impacted areas worth £40 million.
3) Quarry Manufacturing and Supplies, a Leicestershire based construction equipment supplier secured a deal worth £1.5 million to help road construction in North Tema, Southern Ghana.
4) Northern Irish SME Tesab Engineering secured a deal worth £1 million to provide manufacturing and industrial equipment for construction projects in Ghana.
5) Construction of six new hospitals worth £236 million in Cote D’Ivoire.
6) Finance worth £105 million for the revamp of two existing roads in Cote D’Ivoire and for constructing four bridges to improve trade links with Ghana, Guinea, Liberia and Burkina Faso.
7) UKEF support to Ivory Coast allowed Dints International to acquire a contract worth €10 million to construct five high priority road networks in Cote D’Ivoire.
8) Egypt’s two electric monorail construction worth £1.2 billion helped support sustainable transport.
9) Cameroon’s £115 million support to widen Douala Road which will, in turn, improve trade links. It will help enhance the crucial trade route from the Douala Port to the capital Yaounde as well as to Chad and the Central African Republic.
10) CDE Global, a Northern Irish Manufacturing company won a multi-million-pound contract to enhance facilities at a sand wet - processing quarry in Oueslatia, Central Tunisia.
We're making it easier than ever for British & African businesses to trade together.— Vicky Ford MP (@vickyford) January 20, 2022
At the Africa Investment Conference today, we launched Growth Gateway – a new online platform providing expert advice to firms looking to export to the UK & Africa #AIC22https://t.co/oir4nW9S3e
This year's Africa Investment Conference was a virtual event, and was hosted by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, UK's Secretary of State for International Trade.
During the conference UKEF also launched the Growth Gateway, which is a digital tool to connect African and British businesses with UK Government trade, finance and investment services. The Growth Gateway will also provide online support services to businesses in Africa who want to export to and invest in the UK, as well as businesses in the UK who want to export to and invest in Africa.
Speaking during this year's Africa Investment Conference, Secretary of state for international trade, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, said "Two years on from the inaugural UK-Africa Investment Summit, the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger."
Trevelyan further stated “The continent has huge economic potential and our continued partnership will help businesses capitalise on investment opportunities, supporting high value jobs and boost enterprise in every part of the UK".
Also speaking at the conference, UK's Minister for investment, Gerry Grimstone, said: “At the first UK-Africa Investment Summit, the Prime Minister stated his intention to make the UK Africa’s investment partner of choice. This year's conference is a key part of that legacy, bringing our business communities together to make the case for a closer investment partnership with a renewed focus on sustainability and clean growth.”
Top Photo: Aerial photograph of the Kumasi Central Market / Kejetia Market (GeoTour | Wikimedia Commons)