AFRICA – UK investors attending the UK-Africa investment summit have been urged by the President of the Africa African Development Bank President Akinwumi Adesina to engage in “partnership of change,” with Africa.
Adesina made the call during his keynote address at the UK Parliamentary Symposium which was co-organized by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Africa with the Royal African Society, Oxford Brookes University, and the Trade Justice Network under the theme UK-Africa Trade and Brexit.
He thus urged Africa and the UK to be significant trading partners noting with concern that the trade between the two partners had significantly gone down from a $49 billion peak in 2012, to a low $30.6 billion in 2018.
Adesina said that the decline in UK trade and investment in Africa was happening against a backdrop of projected business-to-business and consumer-to-consumer expenditures of $5.6 trillion by 2020, and a food and agriculture market worth $1 trillion by 2030.
“The fact that we are having this conversation in the UK Parliament is a great start. The convening of this Summit by Prime Minister Boris Johnson is an even greater start,” he acknowledged.
He noted that trading under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement brings great prospects given that it represents a market of more than 1.3 billion people and a gross domestic product of $2.5 trillion.
Adesina also told UK investors while speaking at the UK-Africa Investment Summit Sustainable Forum that “Investing in quality and sustainable infrastructure can spur Africa’s economic transformation.”
The Forum, organized by the Department of International Development (DFID) and Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, seeks to facilitate new investment and commercial opportunities for the UK and promote quality infrastructure to deliver better services to African citizens.
During the same period, the value of infrastructure projects with private sector participation has increased from $3.6 billion to $5.2 billion.