Rwanda to pitch at UK-Africa investment summit

UK High Commissioner to Rwanda Jo Lomas speaks at a press conference last week. Emmanuel Kwizera

Rwanda will seek to attract more investors to its economy at the UK-Africa investment summit that will take place on January 20 in London, United Kingdom.

Hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the summit will bring together businesses, governments and international institutions from Africa and the UK to showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.

According to the UK High Commission in Rwanda, the country is expected to send a senior delegation led by President Paul Kagame and a number of Rwandan and Rwanda-based companies will be represented covering a range of sectors including manufacturing, agri-tech, mining, renewable energy and financial services.

Speaking about the summit, Jo Lomas, the UK High Commissioner to Rwanda said that it aims to create lasting partnerships that are going to deliver investments, jobs and growth.

“We want this to benefit primarily the people of Africa, but also the U.K. As we get Brexit done, we are trying to develop a closer trading relationship with Africa and we want to help African countries obtain more investment,” she said.

“We also want the U.K to be an investment partner of choice for African nations with a world-leading tech and innovation expertise. The city of London is a top global exchange for African businesses, we are committed to green growth and we are also global leaders in driving economic development through aid.”

Lomas said that the UK Prime Minister will host 21 African countries, and so far 16 of those are confirmed to be represented at the Heads of State level.

Talking about President Kagame’s attendance, Lomas said.

“We are really delighted that President Kagame can come, I think he was the first to accept. We know how enthusiastic he is about delivering investment for Rwanda.”

Sarah Metcalf, the Head of UK’s Department for International Development in Rwanda said the focus of Monday’s event is on a range of themes and areas where the UK wants to build even a greater partnership with Africa which includes sustainable financing infrastructure, trade and investment, growth opportunity areas and clean energy transformation.

Bringing into context the strides made by Rwanda’s economy in doing business and creating an enabling environment for investment, Metcalf said that the summit will be a good opportunity for the country to showcase what its progress is.

“So what we want to do through the UK Africa investment summit is really support Rwanda to capitalize on all of that progress to showcase itself in London, to make new connections with businesses including UK businesses, and to use this to attract investment and to build long-time partnerships for the country,” she said.

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