unlock Africa Trade initiative
‘Unlock Africa’, a new initiative led by London-based trade and investment agency Africa House London, was launched on Tuesday evening at an event held in the UK House of Commons.
UK MPs and Trade Envoys, leaders of major international blue chip businesses and High Commissioners from eighteen African states convened to open the program. It will support UK and African businesses to trade more effectively with each other, will drive inward investment in a post-Brexit, post-COVID-19 environment and, unlike other programs, will ensure essential mid market businesses are not overlooked.
Blue chip organisations from finance and banking, insurance and risk, ICT infrastructure and supply chain management will support the initiative. These Corporate Partners have been hand selected, and will work directly with businesses participating in the program to help them establish themselves in African markets quickly and efficiently so they can grow.
‘Unlock Africa’ will help the most innovative and fastest growing organisations in the UK and Africa; those that have the opportunity for further scale-up within high potential markets. The initiative creates a cohesive network of support for these businesses. Its mechanisms will be deployed through three modules with the help of Africa Trade, an expert team of consultants and technologists located in London’s innovation hub, Silicon Roundabout. These modules include a state of the art cloud-based trading and collaboration platform; an interactive and searchable customer relationship management database and essential workflow resources. They will enable the right environment for building trust between program participants, to shorten deal cycles and make initial contact simpler.
Africa House London, spearheading the initiative, was represented at the event by its Chairman and member of the London Assembly Andrew Boff. Its executive team possesses the deep ties to government, socio-economic expertise and extensive international trade development experience required to forge robust commercial links and roll out the program.
Andrew Boff, Chairman of Africa House London, commented: “In a post-pandemic, post-Brexit world, it is imperative that the UK continues to promote and develop trade relationships with African countries. This is essential both for its own and for Africa's economic recovery.”
“In 2019 eight of the fifteen fastest growing economies were located in Africa. In the year 2050, 1 in 4 consumers will be situated in Africa with 1/5 of the world’s population. Therefore we believe the UK and Africa must capitalise on long-standing ties to create a fruitful and prosperous partnership.”
“UK mid-market businesses are often overlooked by existing trade programs despite their crucial role as employers. It’s these businesses that can move the dial for UK trade into Africa and help Britain maintain its competitive position. If we don’t support our medium sized businesses we will miss out as other nations fill the need.”
Ernst Schulze, UK Chief Executive of DP World, added: “We are delighted to be supporting the Unlock Africa initiative which will help British and African businesses trade more effectively with each other. We are the leading provider of smart logistics solutions, enabling the flow of trade across the globe, and our comprehensive range of products and services touches every aspect of life.”
“We're a global network of 181 business units in 64 countries across six continents with a presence in Africa over many years. We will be happy to do whatever we can to help British businesses looking to establish themselves in African markets so they can grow.”