UNITED KINGDOM – Dr. Akinwumi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group, on Wednesday, addressed the London Stock Exchange, London, United Kingdom.
The London Stock Exchange is the 3rd largest in the world with a market capitalization of about $4.6 trillion
Adesina, who expressed optimism about wealth creation in Africa and the UK, noted that in 2019, Africa had 110 companies listed on the Exchange, with a market capitalization of $197 billion.
“Last year 17 African countries grew by 3-5% and 20 countries grew by 5% and above. Indeed, six of the fastest-growing economies in the world are in Africa. Foreign direct investments to Africa grew at 11% last year, far exceeding the 4% growth in Asia”, he said.
“The Africa Continental Free Trade Area is worth $3.3 trillion, making it the largest free trade zone in the world. That’s why I am excited about the UK-Africa Investment Summit held on Monday right here in London.
“It’s time to recalibrate UK-Africa trade and investment. And a good place to start on investments is on infrastructure. The continent’s unmet infrastructure demand is worth $68-108 billion a year, offering huge opportunities for global investors.
“The Africa Development Bank has been a close partner of the London Stock Exchange. We participate on the Board of the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group. And we are delighted with our partnership on the Companies that inspire Africa report.
“The Africa Investment Forum, launched by the African Development Bank, helped to attract investment interests worth $40.1 billion last year, in less than 72 hours. With institutional investors holding £8 trillion of assets under management in the UK, and only 1% of that going to Africa, it is time to change the trend.
“The African Development Bank looks forward to working with the London Stock Exchange to deepen the development of capital markets in Africa, and to attract UK institutional investors to Africa.
“The synthetic securitization of $1 billion issued by the Bank has attracted global institutional investors to infrastructure in Africa. The Bank is also working on improving African Capital markets access to domestic and international markets passive investment flows.
“The Bank will be working with the London Stock Exchange Africa Advisory Group to attract a greater portion of the $5 trillion in global Exchange Traded Fund assets under management into African capital markets. And we look forward to developing green bond markets with you in Africa.”
The former Nigeria Minister of Agriculture said African Development Bank hopes to partner with the London Stock Exchange on its planned initiative to unlock dormant capital from existing fixed assets across Africa, with an estimated value of $4-5 trillion.
“My ringing of the bell here today marks the beginning of a new, exciting, strategic and impactful engagement between the African Development Bank and the London Stock Exchange to jointly expand wealth creation in Africa and the UK.”, he added.
On Sunday, President Muhammadu Buhari spoke on Nigeria’s relations with the UK and the country’s exit from the European Union (EU).
Buhari in an article titled, ‘A new case for a Commonwealth based on trade, sought closer ties with the UK and called for better trade as well as uncomplicated movement of people and goods within the Commonwealth.
He noted that in recent years, Nigeria-UK relationship – particularly economically – has become increasingly defined by Britain’s membership of the European Union.
“A new free trade agreement would reconfigure this, presenting new opportunities for both”, Buhari noted.