UK-Rwanda relations post UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020
Business Chief looks at some of the major outcomes following the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020
The UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020 marks an important year for UK-Rwanda relations, a sentiment strongly felt by British High Commissioner to Rwanda, Joanna Lomas.
“Africa is a continent alive with opportunity; its economic potential is substantial and its success matters to the UK. We want the UK to be the partner of choice for Africa and the investor with the biggest impact in terms of quality jobs, growth and sustainability,” she said. Rwanda has one of the fastest growing economies in the world, ranked as the second easiest country to conduct trade with in the continent.
It was also announced by UK Development Secretary Alok Sharma at the Summit that an additional £6mn would be invested in the Rwandan financial sector, allowing the country to international markets and drive investment.
“UK Aid, through the UK Department for International Development (DFID) continues to invest heavily in Rwanda’s long-term growth and transformation. As well as a significant investment supporting the Government of Rwanda’s efforts to improve learning outcomes in basic education (critical to building human capital), over half of the UK’s £54 million bilateral aid programme this year is focused on supporting economic growth, including trade facilitation, financial sector development and agriculture. UK support also enabled a significant investment by Unilever in the tea sector – a great example of the partnerships the UK-Africa Investment Summit was promoting,” continued Lomas.
Following on from the Africa Investment Summit there are two more events that will mark the country’s progress: Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali in June and the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 hosted by the UK in November. These events will place Rwanda in the international spotlight.
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About the summit
The Summit, which took place last week, took place in London and welcomed 16 African leaders, sought to present the UK as an investment partner of choice to the nation and its leaders.
Those in attendance included: President Sisi of Egypt, President Kenyatta of Kenya, President Buhari of Nigeria, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Kagame of Rwanda, and African business leaders including CEO of Standard Bank Gert Vogel and CEO of Investec Hendrik Du Toit.
Prominent business executives from the UK were also in attendance, including: CEO of Vodafone Nick Read, CEO of BP Bernard Looney, CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen Keith Skeoch, CEO G4S Ashley Martin Almanza, CEO of Associated British Foods George Weston, and CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group David Schwimmer.
“Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa at the Department for International Trade, Emma Wade-Smith OBE, said: “The UK-Africa Investment Summit will showcase the UK’s unique offer to Africa and the breadth of exciting investment opportunities that exist across the African continent. We want the UK to have the biggest positive impact of any foreign investor, in terms of creating and sustaining quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth and sustainability.”
For more information on business topics in the Middle East and Africa, please take a look at the latest edition of Business Chief MEA.