Writing for TechRound, Steven Marshall, Group CCO at Crown Agents Bank, discusses the importance of UK investment in African nations

Published // 30th March 2020

In an opinion piece for TechRound – the leading publication for start-ups, entrepreneurs, businesses in the UK and beyond – Steven Marshall, Crown Agents Bank’s COO, writes on the UK’s pivotal role in investment across African nations to enhance the region’s long-term economic growth.

Historically, Africa has struggled to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) due to less-established financial infrastructure, changing regulations and other challenges. Yet the region has demonstrated that its market conditions ripe for fintech innovation and investment – to testify this, trade between the UK and Africa increased by 7.5% last year to £36 billion.

The fintech revolution is being fuelled primarily by the continent’s three main tech dominators – South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria. That said, Rwanda, despite its small population, is also successfully positioning itself as a profitable commercial hub. Indeed, 2020 is an important year for UK-Rwanda relations. Initiatives such as the UK-Africa Investment Summit have showcased the country’s prospects, with the UK Development Secretary Alok Sharma announcing an additional £6 million for financial sector development work in Rwanda, boosting the availability of finance for local businesses in emerging markets.

Thanks to Britain’s work in supporting African countries in their ambition to stimulate long-term economic growth, we are creating an environment for small businesses to grow and new technologies to develop where it has historically been lacking. What’s more, barriers that previously deterred international investment – such as the higher risk profile and cost of investing in emerging and frontier markets – are receding.

To ensure this momentum continues and the region receives greater access to financial services, Marshall advocates that the UK – despite the current pandemic – continue to prioritise investment in Africa for the long-term.

View the full article here: https://techround.co.uk/news/the-importance-of-uk-investment-in-african-nations/

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