London to host second edition of UK-Africa investment summit in 2024

London to host second edition of UK-Africa investment summit in 2024

The British Foreign ministry announced Thursday the second edition of the UK-Africa investment summit will be held in London in April 2024 as the European country seeks to increase trade with the African continent.

The UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will host the major UK-Africa conference on 23-24 April 2024, as London tries to flesh out its post-Brexit relationship with allies beyond Europe.

The ministry said in a statement that 24 African countries are expected at the summit to gather Heads of State and government and companies’ CEOs.

UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly says: “Affirming the UK’s position as a leading investor in Africa, this second African Investment Summit in London will build on our successes since 2020, which have combined the strengths, innovations and expertise of the UK and our partners across Africa to support reliable, sustainable and long-term investment.”

The UK-Africa Investment Summit is part of a busy calendar of continental-focused meetings. The US, China, Russia, Turkey, Germany, Japan, and France have all either held Africa conferences in the last year or are planning one in 2023.

The UK-Africa summit announcement comes as the UK attempts to construct its post-Brexit economic diplomacy. The Developing Countries Trading Scheme that will cut tariffs on 99% of African goods that enter the UK comes into force this year. UK policymakers hope this scheme will help fight shortages in things like fresh agricultural produce and that it will also leverage financial expertise to bring new custom to the City of London.

“Europe is still a really important trading partner”, Nigel Huddleston, UK Minister of State at the Department for Business and Trade tells The Africa Report. “But there is literally a whole world out there, [to] which we have not necessarily given the time and attention that we should have over the previous decades.”

He insists that the conference is for two-way trade, rather than just a beauty pageant of African investment opportunities for UK companies. As Africa becomes “the powerhouse that it inevitably will [be], and becomes wealthier, there will be more African investors looking for opportunities to invest around the world,” says Huddleston.

“The summit will bring together heads of state and government from 24 African countries and British and African business leaders. It will strengthen partnerships between the UK and Africa to create jobs and growth, supporting British and African talent in sectors such as finance and technology, and encouraging women entrepreneurs,” the statement said.

“This summit will allow us to harness the potential of our relationship with Africa and develop our economies together, making them stronger, more resilient and more innovative,” UK Premier Rishi Sunak was quoted in the statement as saying.

The 24 countries to attend the April 2024 meeting are: Algeria; Angola; Cameroon; Côte d’Ivoire; Democratic Republic of Congo; Egypt; Ethiopia; Ghana; Kenya; Malawi; Mauritania; Mauritius; Morocco; Mozambique; Namibia; Nigeria; Rwanda; Senegal; Sierra Leone; South Africa; Tanzania; Tunisia; Uganda; and Zambia

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