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Museveni in London: How Vital is the UK-Africa Investment Summit?

President Museveni is attending the first ever UK-Africa Investment Summit in London, United Kingdom.

Museveni on Sunday flew from Lome, Togo, where he attended a conference on drug trafficking and counterfeit medicines, to London.

“The NRM government is committed to attracting more investment to Uganda, now that most of the crucial infrastructure is in place,” said Museveni in tweet seen by ChimpReports on Sunday.

In London, Museveni was welcomed by senior UK officials.

Also at the airport to receive Museveni were Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and State Minister for Privatization Evelyne Anite among other Ugandan officials,

Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make the case for the UK as the ‘investment partner of choice’ for African countries at a major investment summit today.

He will say the UK has unique expertise and innovation in technology, clean growth, infrastructure and finance which can feed the continent’s demand for sustainable growth.

Other super powers including China, Russia and United States have since organized similar conferences to deepen commercial ties with Africa.

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Africa is the world’s second fastest-growing region, experiencing average annual GDP growth of 4.6 percent for the period from 2000 and 2016.

For the current five-year period until 2022, Africa’s real GDP is projected to grow at 3.9% annually.

The western world see Africa as a major destination for their exports.

In 2019, African countries ratified the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), creating the largest free trade area since the establishment of the World Trade Organization.

The free trade area is expected to help boost intra-African trade and also boast of a combined business and consumer spending of $6.7 trillion by 2030.

The United Kingdom Minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson MP was recently in Uganda to meet President Museveni and attend a ground-breaking ceremony at the Namanve Industrial Park.

Work will soon begin to upgrade the park, including construction of roads, water, electricity, waste treatment facilities, sewerage and drainage networks and optic fibre networks.

The project is being led UK contractors Lagan Group Limited owned by Kevin Lagan. Estimates suggest the project will create 25,484 direct jobs in the construction phase, a further 39,800 in the short term and over 200,000 jobs in the long term.

Stephenson said the UK supports Uganda’s ambition to become a middle-income country by 2040.

“Boosting infrastructure, enhancing investment and trade, and strengthening Uganda’s manufacturing base is vital. That is why I am delighted to be here at this ground-breaking for the construction of infrastructure for the Namanve Industrial Park,’ he said.

“The Prime Minister looks forward to welcoming Uganda at the UK-Africa Investment Summit later this month where we can deepen our investment partnership.”

Inside the conference

The UK-Africa Investment Summit, hosted by the Prime Minister, will bring together 21 African countries with UK and African companies.

This is the first time governments and businesses from the UK and Africa have come together for an event of this scale.

Deals worth billions of pounds will be announced at the Summit. These will drive jobs and growth in all parts of the UK and in Africa, benefitting a range of British companies from family firms to major multinationals.

The UK government announced in a statement today that all new investments will reflect the Prime Minister’s commitment to “build long-term, sustainable relationships in Africa underpinned by our values and high standards.”

The Prime Minister will use his opening speech to illustrate this modern partnership with examples of UK businesses like Dorset-based Low Energy Designs, which is installing smart street lighting across Nigeria, Northern Irish firm Lagan which has won the contract to build a business park in Uganda, and Diageo which is investing £167 million to build a state of the art, environmentally friendly breweries in Kenya and wider East Africa.

Museveni greets Anite on arrival in London on Sunday

At the Summit, the Prime Minister will announce an end to UK support for thermal coal mining or coal power plants overseas, ending direct Official Development Assistance, investment and export credit.

This announcement forms part of the UK’s wider commitment to use its expertise and experience to help Africa transition away from fossil fuels towards renewable, sustainable forms of clean energy.

In 2019 the UK went a record 83 days without generating electricity from coal.

The UK was also the first major economy to set a legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050 and Glasgow will host the COP UN Climate Change Summit later this year.

The Prime Minister will meet the 16 African leaders attending the Summit including President Sisi of Egypt, President Kenyatta of Kenya, President Buhari of Nigeria, President Akufo-Addo of Ghana and President Kagame of Rwanda, and African business leaders including CEO of Standard Bank Gert Vogel and CEO of Investec Hendrik Du Toit.

He will also meet prominent UK business leaders including the CEO of Vodafone Nick Read, CEO of BP Bernard Looney, CEO of Standard Life Aberdeen Keith Skeoch, CEO G4S Ashley Martin Almanza, CEO of Associated British Foods George Weston, and CEO of the London Stock Exchange Group David Schwimmer.

The Prime Minister will also visit the Summit’s ‘Business and Innovation Hub’, where he will meet young entrepreneurs from the UK and Africa and try out examples of their creative technology that is improving lives across the world.

The Summit will involve a number of sessions with speakers from government and business in the UK and Africa. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, Development Secretary Alok Sharma, Trade Secretary Elizabeth Truss and Business Secretary Andrea Leadsom will also be representing the UK Government.

On Monday evening the Prime Minister, African Heads of State and Government and a number of British and African business leaders will attend a reception at Buckingham Palace hosted by the Duke of Cambridge.

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