3 UK exporters gain ground in the West African region, which accounts for more than a quarter of Africa’s GDP; Demand for UK products and services is expanding in West Africa, with deals to build hospitals, roads and bridges; UK government export financial support at its highest level in decades in the region, including a record deal worth over £200m in Côte d’Ivoire
5 UK Export Finance has today released new data showing it provided more than £500m in support for projects in West Africa during 2021, the most in over two decades.
6 At last week’s (20 January) Africa Investment Conference, the Prime Minister said that the UK is already one of Africa’s biggest trading partners, but that we are “determined to do much more: our shared task must be to ensure that Africa prospers from the green industrial revolution. .”
7 The Conference is an annual showcase event, designed to match investment projects in Africa with UK investors. Over 3,000 delegates took part this year, boosting trade and investment ties between the UK and the continent.
8 The government is also mobilizing support from its export credit agency, UKEF, to boost exports to Africa: it provided £2.3bn worth of support last year, more than triple the amount provided in 2018-19.
9 In West Africa, this has been implemented in a variety of vital infrastructure projects, helping to build major roads and bridges, as well as providing medical and IT equipment, design services, and environmental and social work.
10 The region provides a unique opportunity for UK exporters as West Africa has seen a surge in economic growth since the early 1990s. Research shows that since 2000 their collective GDP has risen from $105 billion to more than $659 billion in 2020.
12 Investment Minister Gerry Grimstone said: “We want more British companies to sell to the world, seizing new opportunities in growth markets like this. The potential is huge. This government has the funding available to support British businesses going global in West Africa, supporting growth and development in the region and helping local communities and economies to thrive.”
13 Examples of successful investments include a UKEF guarantee of over £40 million to Gloucestershire-based Mabey Bridge to build 87 emergency bridges used to strengthen flood defenses in Ghana, supporting countries suffering from the effects of climate change.
14 In 2021, UKEF also signed its largest deal in the region worth over £200 million to support the construction of six hospitals, supported by UK suppliers, creating UK jobs and improving health outcomes. in Ivory Coast.