UK Government supporting City of London to mobilise billions of pounds of investment to transform Africa

UK Government supporting City of London to mobilise billions of pounds of investment to transform Africa

Billions of pounds of investment in Africa will be generated by the City of London under initiatives announced by International Development Secretary Alok Sharma.

The announcement comes as African government and business leaders arrive in London ahead of the UK-Africa Investment Summit – the first event of its scale.

More African businesses are listed on the London Stock Exchange than any other finance centre outside the continent. But African assets still only account for around 1% of total investments managed by the City.

The announcements will help more money from private investors like pension funds flow into Africa by making it easier, quicker and more secure to invest. This will also ensure that money is going directly to support green and sustainable development.

The three new initiatives, backed by almost £400 million of UK aid support, include:

  • Extra support to the UK’s Financial Sector Deepening Platform which will improve the financial systems and regulations of 45 developing nations in Africa, to build more confidence for international investors; lead the way to boost green finance products and improve access to bank accounts and loans for African entrepreneurs.
  • Collaboration with the City of London on a competition for fund managers to identify new investment products for Africa, which could be listed on major stock exchanges like London, making it easier and more appealing for global investors to put money into African projects at scale.
  • A new facility with the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) to develop more local currency bonds, allowing businesses and governments in Africa to raise investment in their own currencies and reduce the risks and costs associated with borrowing in foreign currencies, because of potentially damaging exchange rate fluctuations. This will help African countries better plan and invest in their future.

These announcements come on the same day that a new World Bank International Development Association (IDA) Sterling bond will be listed on the London Stock exchange, which is expected to raise hundreds of millions of pounds for high impact investment across Africa.

Original source: DFID
Published on 17 January 2019