Department for International Trade
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£170 million finance deal boosts British construction firms in Africa

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UK Export Finance

Landmark UK Government financing helps UK businesses export to Benin and Togo to support major infrastructure projects

  • UK Government announces two landmark finance packages worth combined £174.5 million for vital construction projects in Benin and Togo
  • UK Export Finance support will unlock £82 million in export opportunities for UK businesses and build key infrastructure
  • Trade Minister James Duddridge to announce deals at first UK-Francophone West & Central Africa Trade & Investment Forum

UK firms are set to benefit from landmark new deals worth a combined £174.5 million to finance construction projects in Benin and Togo.

The deals, funded by both Deutsche Bank and MUFG Bank and guaranteed by UK Export Finance (UKEF), will be announced by Trade Minister James Duddridge today (19 October) in a speech to the inaugural UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum in London.

The event will bring together senior politicians and business leaders from eight African nations to boost trade and investment opportunities across a continent with an economy worth £2.6 trillion.

The deals come as the government ramps up its support for West and Central Africa trade, reinforcing the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice.

Minister of State for International Trade, James Duddridge said:

This landmark finance package will help businesses capitalise on investment prospects, support high-value jobs and provide new opportunities for UK exporters in some of the world’s fastest-growing markets.

UK Export Finance has supported more than £760 million of projects in the Francophone West & Central Africa region in the last year, and we want to do even more. Today’s Forum is another opportunity to show the UK’s ambition to be Africa’s investment partner of choice has never been stronger.

UKEF, the UK’s world-class export credit agency, has guaranteed a landmark £106.5 million loan from Deutsche Bank to the Benin Government which will fund the construction of a new Ministerial City in Benin.

The project will transform the country’s government complex and unlock £35 million in export opportunities for UK businesses, who will supply equipment to Benin for the construction work whilst creating local jobs.

Duddridge will also announce £68.6 million of UKEF-guaranteed financing from MUFG Bank to build a vital new road between Benin and Togo. This will accelerate inter-Africa trade, by opening up routes to dynamic markets, and unlock £47 million worth of UK exports to the region.

At the same time, the road will connect over 200,000 people living in Togo’s Central Region with safer and crucial transport links to Benin.

His Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for Africa, John Humphrey said:

UK Export Finance has witnessed a growing interest in French-speaking West and Central African markets - an appetite which has seen consistent year on year increases.

Recent successes in these markets include an award-winning and record-breaking financing facility for primary healthcare in Cote d’Ivoire, and an innovative infrastructure financing facility in Cameroon.

Rose Kayi Mivedor, Togo Government Minister for Investment Promotion, added:

This project is part of Togo’s Wider Road Infrastructure plan. Our government continues to make strategic investments in infrastructure to build and maintain a road network that not only helps move people and goods, but also stimulates growth in relevant cities.

UKEF participation confirms the project strength and viability and through its expertise, the parties were able to put in place an affordable financing solution that will make this priority project a success for Togo’s economy.

The UK was Europe’s top investor in Africa this year, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development’s 2022 world investment report.

Today’s new UKEF deals build on £3.2 billion of support for projects across the continent in the past two years, with even more deals expected in the year ahead.

Notes to editors:

  • The first UK-Francophone West & Central Africa Trade & Investment Forum kicks off today in central London with eight nations represented, including the West African powerhouses of Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire, Central Africa’s Cameroon and the diverse economies of Benin, Burkina Faso, Niger, Gabon and Guinea.
  • Discussions with senior politicians and business leaders at the Forum will focus on how businesses can capitalise on the immense economic potential between the UK and the region and seize the trade and investment opportunities on offer.
  • More detail on the Forum is available here.
  • The UKEF-backed deals will unlock £82 million in export opportunities for UK businesses to supply both construction materials and services, such as consultation and insurance, for the construction projects. This figure represents the total value of materials and services required for the projects, following a detailed assessment by the projects’ underwriters, contractors and financers.

The Benin projects

  • UKEF provided support through a £106.5m million loan from Deutsche Bank AG using a mix of its Buyer Credit Guarantee and Direct Lending facility.
  • This involves the construction of a ministerial city in Cotonou, which will house 21 government ministries across ten modern office buildings, a four-story parking facility and a restaurant.
  • The project is a top priority for the Benin government. Cutting down on travel time between ministries will boost employee productivity and enhance departmental communication. When finished, the ministerial city will resemble Whitehall, where ministries not housed in the same buildings are close by and can be reached on foot.
  • Arabian Construction Company (ACC) will lead the construction of the project, with UK suppliers benefitting from the deal.
  • The project will use goods and materials worth £35 million that will be made in the UK thanks to UKEF support.

The Togo-Benin road project

  • UKEF provided support through a £68 million loan from MUFG using a mix of its Buyer Credit Guarantee and Direct Lending facility.
  • This is supporting a contract for the design, procurement and construction of the Sokode-Tchamba-Kambole-Benin Border Road in Togo.
  • The Benin Road directly impacts over 52% of the Central Region’s 412,941 inhabitants, the region itself houses Sokode the country’s second largest city.
  • This would be the minimum yearly population that would benefit from this project, given this planned construction is expected to further stimulate economic engagement.

About UK Export Finance

  • UK Export Finance is the UK’s export credit agency and a government department, working along-side the Department for International Trade as an integral part of its strategy and operations.
  • Established in 1919, UKEF advances prosperity by ensuring no viable UK export fails for lack of finance or insurance, doing that sustainably and at no net cost to the taxpayer.
  • UKEF helps foreign countries finance major projects and ensures a high proportion of contracts are awarded to UK businesses as a condition of its support, and the deals announced at the Trade & Investment Forum today build on £116.5 million of UKEF financing announced earlier this year for emergency services in Senegal.
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