London Stock Exchange Group welcomes The UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum

The inaugural meeting of the UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum kicked off in London on Wednesday, October 19. Welcoming senior politicians and business leaders from across eight different countries.

We are absolutely delighted to be at the London Exchange, today, with these seven countries from Africa, simultaneously opening the market. The seven countries represented today include the West Africa power houses of Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire, Central Africa's Cameroon and the extraordinarily diverse economies of Niger and Guinea.

DMA Invest CEO Atam Sandhu said: “The many French-speaking West and Central African countries have been historically under-represented by British industry. This, however, has been a trend in reverse for several years, culminating in June's ascension to the Commonwealth of Gabon and Togo.

The Market will be opened by the young Nhlanzeko Khanyile, an MBA candidate at London Business School, an enthusiast of sustainable development of the African continent.

DMA Invest has over 50 years of experience in the international development arena. Since its inception the company has grown to cover a broad portfolio of work; hosting large scale investment events and associated activities for governments of emerging economies all over the world.

Sincere gratitude for the eight governments here, represented through fifteen ministers, many more ministries, heads of Investment Promotion Agencies and many parastatals all supported by the sixteen Embassies, High Commissions, Missions both here and overseas. Moreover, thank you to the numerous businesses committed to bilateral trade and investment here today and tomorrow which mark a high watermark in our commercial, political and cultural relationship.

DMA’s activities have generated over US$15 billion in new investment and capital flows into developing markets: hosting over 300 heads of state and cabinet ministers at over 120 high-level events, we have managed over 300 projects for a range of stakeholders, including governments, corporations and leading donor agencies.

His Majesty’s Trade Commission 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 an award-winning and record financing facility for primary healthcare in Cote d'Ivoire and an innovative infrastructure financing facility in Cameroon."

Deals in the £100s of millions were signed at Merchant Taylors’ on the 19th and many more being planned. We intend to take companies, as our next commitment in the shape of Investment Missions to each country, some perhaps as early as this year, certainly all by the end of Q1 next.

All of this has been possible, thanks to the joined-up strategy, approach and thinking of HMG through the FCDO, DIT and UKEF arms of government and our special thanks goes to the GREAT campaign's support, UKEF's direction, DIT's advice and especially to the architect of today's event, UKEF's Steve Gray.