UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum (WCAF)



The inaugural UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum took place on Wednesday 19th October at Merchant Taylors Hall in Central London.

This major intergovernmental and private sector summit was convened by DMA, DIT and UKEF and featured plenary sessions, vertical and geographic panels, deal rooms and a series of bilateral meetings between government and industry.

On the day, eight countries including the West Africa power houses of Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire joined Central Africa's Cameroon, the diverse economies of Benin, Niger and mineral-rich Guinea and the Commonwealth’s newest member states Gabon and Togo.

The Forum has been lauded as a breakthrough summit for the region and for the UK. Such was the interest, that 500 businesses, governments, friends and colleagues joined us for the event, with a further 300 businesses unable to gain admission due to capacity constraints.

The signed deals, on the day, exceeded £170mn and the pipeline from the day was in excess of £500mn with significantly larger longer-term prospects.

We are now focused on taking eight trade missions to each country present at the Forum in Q1, 2023. We will be announcing dates for the missions in November 2022.

As this event showed, with the combined HMG offer of diplomacy, trade and finance, much can be achieved in the region.

We extend our thanks to our friends, partners and event supporters, without whom we would not have been able to realise this landmark event which sets the stage for ever greater economic cooperation with this fast-growing, increasingly important and strategic geographic region.

Press coverage: The Africa Report, London Stock Exchange news, Forbes Afrique




08:00 - 09:00: Registration & Refreshments

09:00 - 09:15: Welcome Address & Opening Comments

  • Office of the Secretary of State, Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • Samir Abhyankar, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity, British International Investment (BII)

09:15 – 09:30: Keynote Addresses

  • Tim Reid, Head of Business Group, UK Export Finance (UKEF)

09:30 – 10.30: The Unique Francophone Offer, Regional Economic Outlook and Investment Opportunities

Chair:  Laurence Robertson MP, Chairman, Westminster Africa Business Group (WABG)

  • Dr Mabouba Diagne, Vice President, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID)
  • Tinashe Makoni, General Counsel, Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) 
  • Steve Gray OBE, Regional Head, West Africa, UK Export Finance
  • Mirabell Mayack, Head of Governmental Affairs, African Investment Intelligence

Q&A Session

10:30 - 11:00: Refreshments Break

11:00 - 11:50: Insight into Benin and Cameroon and the UK Public and Private Offer



Chair: HM Ambassador to Benin, Harriet Thompson

Chair: Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Cameroon, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP

Hon. Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Finance

Hon. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development

Riham Mansour, Business Manager Infrastructure and Construction, UKEF

Simon Bunckenburg, Business Manager Infrastructure and Construction, UKEF

Mireille D'Oliveira Richards, Managing Director, Benin Connect

Brice Beumo, CEO, Beko Capital Advisory

Dr Diane Acha-Morfaw, Board Chairperson, Cameroon Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)

Q&A Session

Q&A Session



11:55 – 12:45:  Insight into Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon and the UK Public and Private Offer

Côte d’Ivoire


Chair: HM Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Catherine Brooker

Chair: HM Ambassador to Gabon, Christian Dennys

Hon. Pacôme Moubelet-Boubeya, Minister of Industry

Hon. Hugues Mbadinga Madiya, Minister of Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnerships

Hon. Professor Lee White, Mnister of Environment

Hon. Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Commerce, Industry and SME Promotion

Akim Daouda, CEO, Gabonese Sovereign  Wealth Fund

Michele Dee, Regional Head Africa and India, UKEF

Yasmine Siddiqi, Business Development Officer, UKEF

Kady Doumbia Coulibaly, President, Cote d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce (CICCGB) 

Igor Simard, Country Manager, Arise

Sonia Galat, Director, Cote d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce (CICCGB) 

Sarmad Lone, Regional Head, Client Coverage, AME, CCIB, Standard Chartered Bank

Q&A Session

Q&A Session



12:45 - 13:40: Networking Lunch/Food Security and Job Creation Networking Lunch


13:40 – 14:30: Insight into Guinea and Niger and the UK Public and Private Offer



Chair: HM Ambassador to Guinea, Guy Harrison

Chair: HM Ambassador to Niger, Catherine Inglehearn

Hon. Moussa Cisse, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning

Hon. Dr Ahmat Jidoud, Minister of Finance


Hon. Alpha Bacar Barry, Minister of Vocational Training and Professional Education

Hon. Alkache Alhada, Minister of Commerce

Ismael  Nabe, Advisor to the Prime Minister in charge of Investments and Partnerships

Mr Moussa Sidi Mohamed, President, Niger Chamber of Commerce

Boris Medimorec, Senior Underwriter, UKEF

Caroline Healy, Strategy, Policy and Climate Change, UKEF

Gerard Rheinberger, Managing Director, Simandou Project, Rio Tinto

Q&A Session

Q&A Session



14:35 - 15:25: Insight into Senegal and Togo and the UK Public and Private Offer



Chair: HM Ambassador to Senegal, Juliette John

Chair: HM High Commissioner to Togo, Harriet Thompson

Hon. Dr Cheikh Kante, Minister of Plan Senegal Emergent

Hon. Kodzo Adedje, Minister of Trade, Industry and Local Consumption


Sijd Diagne, Advisor to the Minister of Economy

Adam Harris, Head of Civil, Infrastructure and Energy, UKEF

Hon. Rose Mivedor, Minister of Investment Promotion


Paul Woodman, Managing Director, ASGC

Rodrigue Akue-Atsa, Advisor, Investment Attraction, Ministry of Investment Promotion

Sujithav Sarangi, Executive Director, Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank

Carla Senatore, Senior Origination Officer Africa/Asia, UKEF

Q&A Session

Q&A Session


15:25 – 15.45: Tea and Coffee Break


15:45 - 15:55: DIT's Commitment to Francophone Africa

  • John Humphrey, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner to Africa, Department for International Trade


16:00 – 16:40: UK Expertise - Spotlights i.

Spotlight on Infrastructure

Spotlight on Agriculture

Chair: Dr Nick Westcott, Director, Royal African SocietyElizabeth McCrory, Senior Export Finance Manager, UKEFSylvie Fekeram Wanogho, Finance Director, ERG InternationalNabil Saimi, Head of Business Development, InfraCo Africa

Chair: Lord Henry Bellingham, Former Minister for AfricaRichard Hill, Export Finance Manager, UKEFDavid Burton, Sector Director Agriculture – Africa, DITHon. Antoine Lekpa Gbegbeni, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, TogoCleber Guarany, Project Coordinator, FGV Europe


16:45 – 17:25: UK Expertise - Spotlights ii.

Spotlight on Energy

Spotlight on Blue Economy / Water

Chair: Michael Tchenga Wanchi, Country Director, Cameroon DITAlex Douglas, Managing Director, Business Development; Head of West Africa, GlobeleqLoic Ehua, Business Development Manager, GridworksChris Antonopoulos, CEO, Lekela

Chair: Lauren McEvatt, Managing Director, Morpeth ConsultingEddie Malone, Head of Water, DITPhilip Foster, Founder and CEO, Aqua AfricaUzi Sezer, General Coordinator, Water Infrastructure Projects, ERG InternationalLina Osman, Head, Sustainable Finance West, CCIB, Standard Chartered Bank


17:30 - 18.10: UK Expertise - Spotlights iii.

Spotlight on Financial Services

Spotlight on Health and Education

Chair: Atam Sandhu, CEO, DMA InvestSarah Russis, Global Head of Sales, fDi Intelligence/FTTom Attenborough, Head of International Business Development, Primary Markets, Capital Markets, London Stock Exchange GroupDavid Aldridge, Country Director, Currency, De La RueSteve Gray OBE, Regional Head, West Africa, UKEF

Chair: Roger Martin, Advisory Board Member, DMA InvestHon. Minister Alpha Bacar Barry, Minister of Vocational Training and Professional Education, GabonDavid Sheppard, Deputy Head of Healthcare: Infrastructure, Education and Training, DITJonathan Ledger, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Specialist, International Education Team, DITDr David Johnson, Academic Director, Planet One Group

18:15: Closing Ceremony and Gala Reception



One-on-one meetings with the delegation taking place at individual Embassies/High Commissions/missions