First-ever UK-Africa investment summit held amid Brexit challenges

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson hosted Monday the first ever UK-Africa Investment Summit here as part of the government’s efforts to tackle challenges as Britain is set to depart from the European Union on Jan. 31.

“We want to build a new future as a global free trading nation, that’s what we are doing now and that’s what we will be embarking on, on the 31st January this month,” Johnson said.

Citing an old Akan proverb that “All fingers are not the same,” Johnson said all countries are not the same either, and Britain is different for “a breadth and depth of expertise” on clean growth, finance and education, among others.

At the summit, Johnson also pledged to contribute to the continent’s transition to clean growth with Britain’s strength in the sector.

The summit marked a renewed effort for Johnson’s government to reassess its position for opportunities in Africa after Brexit, as the ancient continent offers a vast new global market.

“Between now and 2050, Africa on its own will represent 54 percent of world population increase and it is predicted that there will be 1.1 billion middle class Africans by 2060, a vast new global market,” said Britain’s former international trade secretary Liam Fox in a recent speech.

During the summit, which brings together 21 African countries, British and African firms announced 6.5-billion-pound (8.45-billion-U.S. dollar) worth of commercial deals, spanning a variety of sectors including infrastructure, energy, retail and technology. Enditem

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