The second UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum (WCAF) is currently underway in London, featuring senior government ministers, business leaders, and investors from seven African nations: Benin, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Senegal, and Togo. The event, organised by UK Export Finance (UKEF) and DMA Invest, seeks to foster trade and investment opportunities that will benefit British businesses. It aligns with the UK’s economic growth priorities and signifies the growing economic relations between the UK and Francophone African markets on the continent.
This forum follows the success of a similar event held last year, underscoring the deepening trade and commerce ties between the UK and Francophone African markets. The UK government’s commitment to strengthening bilateral trade and investment partnerships with various African nations is evident, as this event acts as a precursor to the UK-African Investment Summit scheduled for April 2024.
Throughout the forum, delegates are engaging in tailored discussions and panel sessions that focus on trade opportunities across key sectors, including sustainability, agriculture, energy, and healthcare. These discussions aim to promote and facilitate partnerships that support economic growth and job creation.
Additionally, a PwC report on climate tech investment trends is mentioned in the article. According to the report, climate tech investments have decreased by 40% in the past year, although this decline is smaller than the average drop of 50% across various sectors in venture capital and private equity investments. Despite the decrease in overall climate tech investment, the sector still accounted for more than 10% of private market start-up investments in 2023.
The report indicates that specific sub-sectors within climate tech have experienced growth. Notably, investments in solar power rose by 24%, and green hydrogen investments increased by 64%. Carbon capture, use, and storage also saw a 39% increase, although it remains a relatively small share of total climate tech funding, representing less than 2%.
Furthermore, there is a noticeable shift in investment away from technologies with lower emissions reduction potential. Investment in light-duty battery electric vehicles decreased by 50%, and the micro-mobility sector, which includes e-bikes, saw a 38% decline. Nonetheless, mobility and transport still constitute a significant portion of climate tech investment, accounting for 45%.
Will Jackson-Moore, the Global Sustainability Leader at PwC UK, emphasises that despite the challenges and decreased investment in climate tech, there are significant opportunities for investors to engage in this sector. The growing demand for climate tech innovations is expected to drive further investment in the future.
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