Britain's Prime Minister and Conservative leader Boris Johnson prepares to speak on stage after retaining his seat to be MP for Uxbridge and Ruislip South at the count centre in Uxbridge, west London, on December 13, 2019 after votes were counted as part of the UK general election. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

New opportunities for bi-lateral trade and increasing UK investor appetite in Africa will be the main focus of the UK-Africa summit, convened by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, on January 20, 2020.

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 10 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.

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Highlights of his UK trip includes a plenary panel discussion on ‘Sustainable Finance and Infrastructure – Unlocking the City of London and UK financial services for growth in Africa. Discussions will focus on increasing access to investments in Africa and pursuing existing and untapped opportunities.

The one-day event, co-organized by the Royal African Society and Oxford Brooks University, will see the participation of UK parliamentarians, academics, and policymakers.

The future trade relationship between the UK and Africa and the African Continental Free Trade Area in the context of Brexit are expected to top discussions.

Speakers at the symposium include Vera Songwe, Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa; Dr. Mukhisa Kituyi, Secretary-General of UNCTAD and Ms. Paulina Elago, Executive Secretary of the Southern African Customs Union, SACU.

There will be UK-African Development Bank strategic dialogue. The dialogue with the Department for International Development (DFID) will focus on the Africa Development bank’s vision for Africa and how the Bank can spur the continent’s economic transformation, especially in the areas of infrastructure and regional integration, private sector development and jobs, and women’s economic empowerment. Climate change, energy access, addressing fragility, promoting resilience, and good governance principles will also be discussed.

Africa and the UK are long-standing partners. Trade stood at over £33 billion in 2018.  Close to 2,000 British businesses currently operate in Africa.

In 2016, Africa’s exports to the UK accounted for £17 billion, having grown marginally from $16.7 billion in 2015. Africa’s major exporters to the UK, in 2016, included South Africa, which takes the lion’s share with 58%, followed by Nigeria with 7%, Algeria, Morocco and Egypt 5% each.

Over the next decade, Africa is expected to play an increasingly significant global role. The continent’s population is projected to double to 2 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.