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London summit: ACFTA to top discussion as Adesina visits UK

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The African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) will top discussion as Dr Akinwumi Adesina, the President of African Development Bank (AfDB) is expected in London for the milestone investment summit.

The bank’s Communication and External Relations Department made this known in a statement in Abuja on Friday.

The AfDB said new opportunities for bi-lateral trade and increasing UK investor appetite in Africa would be the main focus of the UK-Africa summit, convened by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

The summit is scheduledto hold on January 20.

It said the future trade relationship between the UK and Africa would also be discussed.

“Adesina is expected in London for the milestone investment summit aimed at forging new partnerships under the theme: Partners for prosperity.

“Africa, a continent brimming with investment opportunities is home to six of the ten fastest-growing economies in the world.

“The Summit will bring together businesses, governments, and international institutions to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.

“At UK, Adesina will participate in plenary panel discussion on ‘Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure – Unlocking the City of London and UK financial services for growth in Africa,’ alongside Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana.

“Discussions will focus on increasing access to investments in Africa and pursuing existing and untapped opportunities” it said.

The AfDB noted that the one-day event, co-organised by the Royal African Society and Oxford Brooks University, would have UK parliamentarians, academics, and policymakers in attendance.

According  to the bank,  Africa and the UK are  long-standing partners with trade put at more than 33 billion pounds in 2018.

It said that about 2,000 British businesses were currently operating in Africa.

“In 2016, Africa’s exports to the UK accounted for 17 billion pounds, having grown marginally from 16.7 billion dollars in 2015.

“Africa’s major exporters to the UK in 2016 included South Africa, which takes the lion’s share with 58 per cent, followed by Nigeria with seven per cent, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt five per cent  each.

“Over the next decade, Africa is expected to play an increasingly significant global role. The continent’s population is projected to double to two billion people by 2050, representing a quarter of the world population.

“The UK-Africa Summit is a unique opportunity to expand investment and trade opportunities,” the bank explained.

Edited by: Ese E. Ekama

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