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£170m finance deal boosts UK builders in Africa

Date:

  • UK Government announces two historic financing packages worth a combined £174.5 million for vital construction projects in Benin and Togo
  • UK export financial support will unlock £82 million in export opportunities for UK businesses and build key infrastructure
  • Trade Minister James Duddridge to announce deals at first-ever UK Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum

UK companies will benefit from landmark new deals worth a combined £174.5 million to finance construction projects in Benin and Togo.

The deals, financed by Deutsche Bank and MUFG Bank and guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF), will be announced by Trade Minister James Duddridge today (October 19) in a speech at the inaugural Trade and Investment meeting between the United Kingdom and West Africa and Francophone Africa. Forum in London.

The event will bring together senior politicians and business leaders from eight African countries to boost business and investment opportunities in a continent with an economy valued at £2.6 trillion.

The deals come as the government increases its support for West and Central African 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 financing package will help businesses capitalize 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 region of West and Central Africa in the last year, and we want to do even more. Today’s Forum is another opportunity to show that the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger.

UKEF, the UK’s world-class export credit agency, has guaranteed a landmark £106.5 million loan from Deutsche Bank to the Government of Benin that will finance the construction of a new Ministerial City in Benin.

The project will transform the country’s government complex and unlock £35m in export opportunities for UK companies, supplying Benin with equipment for construction work and 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-African trade, opening routes to dynamic markets, and unlock £47 million worth of UK exports to the region.

At the same time, the highway will connect more than 200,000 people living in central Togo with safer and crucial transport links to Benin.

Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey, said:

UK Export Finance has seen a growing interest in the Francophone West and Central African markets, an appetite that has seen steady increases year on year.

Recent successes in these markets include an unprecedented and award-winning financing mechanism for primary health care in Côte d’Ivoire and an innovative infrastructure financing mechanism in Cameroon.

Rose Kayi Mivedor, Minister of Investment Promotion of the Government of Togo, added:

This project is part of Togo’s broader 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.

UKEF’s involvement confirms the robustness and viability of the project and, thanks to their experience, the parties were able to implement an affordable financing solution that will make this priority project a success for the Togolese economy.

The UK was Europe’s top investor in Africa this year, according to the 2022 world investment report from the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Today’s new UKEF deals build on £3.2bn of support for projects across the continent in the last two years, with even more deals expected in the year ahead.

-ENDS-

Notes to editors:

  • The first UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum kicks off today in central London with eight nations represented, including the West African powers of Senegal and Côte d’Ivoire, Central African Cameroon and the various economies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon and Guinea.
  • Discussions with senior politicians and business leaders at the Forum will focus on how business can capitalize on the immense economic potential between the UK and the region and take advantage of the trade and investment opportunities on offer.
  • More details about the Forum are available here.
  • The UKEF-backed deals will unlock £82 million in export opportunities for UK companies to supply construction materials and services, such as consultancy and insurance, for construction projects. This figure represents the total value of the materials and services needed for the projects, after a detailed evaluation by the insurers, contractors and financiers of the projects.

Benin’s projects

  • UKEF provided support through a £106.5m loan from Deutsche Bank AG using a combination of its buyer credit guarantee facility and direct loan.
  • This involves the construction of a ministerial city in Cotonou, which will house 21 government ministries in ten modern office buildings, a four-storey car park and a restaurant.
  • The project is a priority for the government of Benin. Reducing travel time between ministries will boost employee productivity and improve departmental communication. When completed, the ministry city will resemble Whitehall, where ministries not in the same buildings are close by and can be reached on foot.
  • Arabian Construction Company (ACC) will lead the construction of the project, with UK suppliers benefiting from the deal.
  • The project will use £35m worth of goods and materials to be manufactured in the UK thanks to UKEF support.

The Togo-Benin highway project

  • UKEF provided support through a £68m loan from MUFG using a combination of its direct loan and buyer credit guarantee facility.
  • This supports a contract for the design, procurement and construction of the Sokode-Tchamba-Kambole-Benin border road in Togo.
  • Benin Road directly impacts more than 52% of the 412,941 inhabitants of the Central Region, the region itself is home to Sokode, the second largest city in the country.
  • This would be the minimum annual population that would benefit from this project, as this planned construction is expected to further stimulate economic commitment.

About UK Export Financing

  • UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department that works alongside the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.

  • Established in 1919, UKEF promotes prosperity by ensuring that no viable UK export fails for lack of financing or insurance, doing so sustainably and at no net cost to the taxpayer.
  • UKEF helps foreign countries finance major projects and ensures that a large proportion of contracts are awarded to UK companies as a condition of their support, and the deals announced today at the Trade and Investment Forum are based on £116.5m of UKEF funding announced earlier this year for emergency services in Senegal.

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