To ask Her Majesty's Government what progress they have made since the UK–Africa Investment Summit in January in relation to their (1) trade policy for, (2) investment in, (3) exports to, (4) trade, but not export, finance with, and (5) trade agreements with, countries in Africa; and how UK trade objectives support the objectives of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement.
21 December 2020
At the United Kingdom-Africa Investment Summit we committed to be Africa’s trade and investment partner of choice. Nearly one year on, and despite the challenging backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, we have sustained this effort. All the deals and investor commitments made around the event have progressed, with further investments added since.
The Department for International Trade (DIT) has directly supported exports to Africa returning over £1bn to the UK economy already this year, and we have now signed 7 trade agreements covering 14 African nations total trade (exports and imports) in goods and services, worth £20.4bn in 2019. Total trade between the United Kingdom and these 14 African nations has grown by 21% since 2009. The Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), which will start trading on 1 January 2021, offers great promise. We are a leading supporter of AfCFTA negotiations as recently recognised by AfCFTA champion, President Issoufou of Niger. We will support the new Secretariat in Accra, national level implementation, as well as the on-going negotiations.
These efforts will keep the UK at the forefront of African trade policy development, supporting delivery of our economic development and poverty reduction objectives, and drive the establishment of a new market for UK investors and businesses.