The RT Hon Theresa May MP

  • "I am so pleased to see London Stock Exchange Group shine a light on Africa’s success"

The RT Hon Theresa May MP, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom 

On my recent visit to Africa in August 2018, I met leaders, entrepreneurs and young professionals who are building exciting futures for their communities, their countries and their continent. Their message to me was simple: they want to unlock private sector investment to create jobs, improve incomes and the quality of their lives, and power the next stage of Africa’s growth.

Africa is home to five of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and is being driven by young and growing populations. This year, Companies to Inspire Africa once again showcases and celebrates the businesses and entrepreneurs at the heart of this movement. I would like to congratulate all the companies featured in this report, and I am confident that by sharing their impressive success stories with the world we will help to promote Africa’s private sector to an international audience and catalyse crucial investment.

In my speech in Cape Town, I set out a new UK partnership with African nations, centred on high-quality investment for job creation and inclusive growth, alongside an ambition for the UK to be the G7’s biggest investor in Africa by 2022. To help achieve this, the UK’s Development Finance Institution, the CDC, will significantly increase its investment into Africa, aiming to invest up to £3.5bn into the private sector on the continent over the next four years.

Furthermore, through our UK aid programme, and delivered by the Private Infrastructure Development Group, an investment of up to £300m into essential infrastructure will lay the foundations for new trading and business opportunities across the continent. In turn, these measures aim to mobilise a further £4bn in private investment. At the moment, only around 1% of the £8trn in assets managed by the City of London are invested in Africa. I believe that it is in all of our interests to work together to increase that percentage and achieve our collective ambitions. This is why we will host the first Africa Investment Summit in 2019, bringing African governments together with private and institutional businesses, investors and entrepreneurs to drive forward the opportunities for trade and investment on the world stage.

Through the building of mutually beneficial partnerships, we are helping to stimulate long-term transformational growth that will support hundreds of thousands of jobs, build stability, strengthen the rule of law and trigger growth in some of the poorest and most fragile countries.

It is only by working together that we will seize the opportunities in front of us. That is why I am so pleased to see London Stock Exchange Group shine a light on Africa’s success stories, showcase the quality and breadth of Africa’s long-term sustainable investment opportunities, and build investment links for our shared future prosperity.