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Landmark UK Government financing helps UK businesses export to Benin and Togo to support major infrastructure projects.
UK firms are set to benefit from landmark new deals worth a combined £174.5 million to finance construction projects in Benin and Togo.
The deals are funded by both Deutsche Bank and MUFG Bank, alongside being guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF). They will be announced by Trade Minister James Duddridge on 19 October in a speech to the inaugural UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum in London.
The event will bring together senior politicians and business leaders from eight African nations to boost trade and investment opportunities across a continent with an economy worth £2.6 trillion.
The deals come as the government ramps up its support for West and Central Africa trade, reinforcing the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice.
Minister of State for International Trade James Duddridge said, “This landmark finance package will help businesses capitalise on investment prospects, support high-value jobs and provide new opportunities for UK exporters in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.
“UK Export Finance has supported more than £760 million of projects in the Francophone West & Central Africa region in the last year, and we want to do even more.”
UKEF, an export credit agency, has guaranteed a landmark £106.5 million loan from Deutsche Bank to the Benin Government, which will fund the construction of a new Ministerial City in Benin.
The project will transform the country’s government complex and unlock £35 million in export opportunities for UK businesses, who will supply equipment to Benin for the construction work whilst creating local jobs.
Duddridge will also announce £68.6 million of UKEF-guaranteed financing from MUFG Bank to build a vital new road between Benin and Togo. This will accelerate inter-Africa trade by opening up routes to dynamic markets and unlock £47 million worth of UK exports to the region.
At the same time, the road will connect over 200,000 people living in Togo’s Central Region with safer and crucial transport links to Benin.
His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey, said, “UK Export Finance has witnessed a growing interest in French-speaking West and Central African markets––an appetite which has seen consistent year-on-year increases.
“Recent successes in these markets include…[a] financing facility for primary healthcare in Cote d’Ivoire and an innovative infrastructure financing facility in Cameroon.”
Rose Kayi Mivedor, Togo Government Minister for Investment Promotion, added, “This project is part of Togo’s Wider Road Infrastructure plan. Our government continues to make strategic investments in infrastructure to build and maintain a road network that not only helps move people and goods but also stimulates growth in relevant cities.”
The UK was Europe’s top investor in Africa this year, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s 2022 world investment report.
Today’s new UKEF deals build on £3.2 billion of support for projects across the continent in the past two years, with even more deals expected in the year ahead.