Govt plans to invest pension funds in African businesses

Written by Adam Cadle

Prime Minister Theresa May aims to use money from pension funds to help generate up to a total of £8bn of public and private investments across Africa over the next four years.

During her three day trip to the continent, May announced plans for private investors, including pension schemes, to invest more into Africa to improve relations and “boost investment returns for the UK’s pension pot”.

The Prime Minister hopes that the UK can become the largest G7 foreign direct investor in Africa by 2020, primarily in business and infrastructure, while also trying to create better job opportunities for the rapidly growing population.

According to the government, the partnership will mobilise further capital from pension funds, insurance companies and other investors, enabling the City to take on an even greater role as Africa’s partner of choice for financial services as the UK leaves the EU.

Currently, only around 1 per cent of the £8trn worth of assets managed by the City of London are invested in Africa, according to the Department for International Development.
It will also trigger essential long-term investment for African businesses, transforming the world’s poorest nations into the UK’s trading partners of the future.

International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Africa’s emerging markets offer huge untapped potential to the UK. There is a massive shortage of investment, infrastructure and jobs in these markets, and the City of London is uniquely placed to help fill this gap while earning benefits for the UK economy.

“We’re building mutually beneficial partnerships which are helping to stimulate long-term transformational growth and create good jobs for people in the world’s poorest countries, while also allowing UK investors to access the wealth of opportunity offered by African countries.”

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