African construction deals backed by UK Export Finance

Financial support from UK Export Finance (UKEF) has led to UK contracts for six infrastructure projects across Africa, international trade secretary Liz Truss has said.

Truss announced at the UK-Africa Investment Summit that UK Export Finance (UKEF) has provided financing worth £620 million to support UK exports to Ghana, Zambia, Gabon and Uganda.

Support provided by UKEF has unlocked overseas contracts for UK exporters to provide goods and services for 6 national infrastructure projects across Africa, bringing significant social and economic benefits to the continent, she said.

The £620m of financing support provided by UKEF will be used on projects including an upgraded terminal at Kumasi airport, hospitals in Ghana and Zambia, an industrial business park in Uganda and road upgrades in Gabon and Uganda.

Truss said: “Africa is home to 8 of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world and its economic prosperity matters to the UK. We want the UK to be the partner of choice in Africa so I am delighted that, with UKEF’s support, British expertise will form a key component of these infrastructure projects that will directly improve millions of lives”.

“We are committed to strengthening our trading relationships in the region, to help deliver jobs and long term, sustainable economic growth that will benefit African and British businesses alike”.

Fabio Camara, director at Contracta Construction UK, said: “The modernisation of Kumasi Teaching Hospital and airport terminal will bring real benefits and we are pleased to be leading on their delivery. UKEF support continues to be invaluable in our expansion into emerging economies”.

Colas chief executive officer Carl Fergusson said: “UKEF’s flexible finance was key to securing this contract, which will have a marked impact on the lives of people in Gabon and on our future growth. Their support for this project and of other infrastructure projects in the region demonstrates the UK government’s commitment to growing UK trade with Africa”.

NMS infrastructure deputy chairman Frederik Hsu said: “This high social impact project will be transformational on healthcare and the lives of local people, especially in remote areas. UKEF’s flexible finance has made it possible for our company to deliver these benefits while also generating significant exports for the UK as well as creating hundreds of local jobs in Zambia”.

“We would have been unable to commit to the delivery of this project without the professional support of UKEF and the team at DIT. We look forward to starting these projects and to seeing the impact they will have on the local economy”.

Unatra commercial manager Alan McMenemy said: “We are delighted UKEF has chosen to support our business in Uganda. Their flexible finance played a key role in the securing of this contract. The deal will underpin and enhance our supply chain partnerships with prime contractors involved in infrastructure improvement in Uganda”.

Lagan chairman Kevin Lagan said: “Following the successful sale of our building materials business to Breedon PLC in 2018, we have targeted a range of exciting new projects which support economic growth and infrastructural development nationally and internationally. We have a strong track record working in Africa and the upgrade of Kampala Industrial Business Park strengthens our footprint in the region and supports the regeneration of a very important area of Uganda.