IoD Berkshire launches task force to drive UK-Africa trade

The Berkshire branch of the Institute of Directors (IoD) has set up a task force to improve trading ties between the UK and Africa.

The Special Interest Group for Africa will stimulate business opportunities, increase networking and grow awareness of British businesses in Africa and African businesses in Britain.

The task force will be launched in London on 19 May 2022, with all African diplomatic missions and some heads of state expected to attend.

Before then a series of IoD-hosted, online round tables will be held to discuss post-Covid and Brexit business opportunities for UK and African businesses.

Since Brexit, the UK government has negotiated eight free trade agreements with African countries and trading blocs, which has created tariffs and duty-free trade between Britain and 30 African nations. These agreements open up significant opportunities for African consumers and companies, not least in the 24 Anglophone countries.

Dr Shaun Davis, IoD Berkshire chair, said: “One UK parliamentary report recently noted that UK-Africa trade has ‘flat-lined’ and accounts for just 2.5% of all UK trade. But before Covid-19 the world’s five fastest-growing economies were all African, and regional leaders like Nigeria and South Africa are likely to become superpowers of the global economy as we move towards the second half of this century.

“More needs to be done on both sides to take advantage of the opportunities on offer. As one of the world’s most influential and established business leader forums – with royal endorsement dating back to 1906 – the IoD is the ideal forum to develop opportunities for UK-based firms to establish and grow new business in Africa and vice versa.”

A Special Interest Group digital round table on Innovation for Business in Africa will be held on 8 February.  The recording of the inaugural Africa round table on the 9th December can be found here.

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