James Cleverly will visit Ghana today [Monday, July 31] – the first of three African countries in a four-day visit across the continent; he will announce new UK investment for small businesses in Ghana, one of the UK’s biggest export markets in sub-Saharan Africa; the Foreign Secretary will travel on to Nigeria tomorrow (Tuesday) before concluding his visit in Zambia on Thursday.
The Foreign Secretary will pledge a £40 million boost for Ghana’s businesses, as he begins a trip to the country’s capital Accra today [31 July], at the start of a visit to Africa.
The funding provided by British International Investment, the UK’s development finance institution, owned wholly by the FCDO, will deliver long-term flexible capital for up to 150 Ghanaian small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), opening up access to business support services to help them grow.
Ghana is the UK’s fourth-biggest export market in sub-Saharan Africa, with total UK imports from Ghana amounting to £1.3 billion in 2022. The country’s SME sector constitutes over 90% share of Ghana’s private sector, accounts for 60% of jobs and contributes 70% of the country’s GDP.
In Accra, the Foreign Secretary will see first-hand the UK-Ghana partnership in action, visiting UK-Ghana NGO Trashy Bags, where recycled drinking water sachets are upcycled into bags and sustainable products. The NGO receives grants from UK Export Finance.
New funding announced today aligns with the Prime Minister’s priorities of growing the economy, with investment funding unlocking potential for long-term economic growth in both Ghana and the UK.
The Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly said:
“I want the UK to be increasingly driving future-focussed, mutually beneficial partnerships with African countries operating in the world’s largest free trade area. From investments in clean energy, to companies turning waste products into fashion items, there is so much potential for economic growth across Africa.
“With the UK-African Investment Summit to be hosted in London in April next year, we are looking to strengthen our business links and grow our economies together. By investing in companies in Ghana today, we are investing in jobs and growth for the future.”
Keen for the UK to focus on building partnerships with countries like Ghana, the Foreign Secretary will also launch a £3.9 million UK programme to tackle illicit flows of illegal gold and the social, environmental and economic harms the trade causes both in Ghana and in the UK.
Showcasing the UK’s commitment to transformative science, innovation and technology to find new solutions to shared challenges, Cleverly will also visit one of Africa’s most prestigious life-science institutions to launch the UK-Ghana Science Tech and Innovation Strategy. The new strategy will strengthen health security, create new investment opportunities, and keep Ghana and the UK at the forefront of global life science priorities, including eradicating malaria.
Moving on to visit Nigeria and Zambia this week, he will meet with key government figures to discuss a positive future of our partnerships with Africa and continue to see UK partnerships with African businesses and NGOs in action, delivering economic growth and trade and investment opportunities.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.