Next year, London will host the first ever UK-Africa Investment Summit, bringing together businesses, governments and international institutions to encourage investment in a range of sectors that African countries have identified as their top priorities. The Summit offers Kenya an unrivalled global platform to attract international investment into the Big 4. Among the areas for future cooperation and collaboration, fintech – with innovation more broadly – stands out. The UK is one of the world’s top three destinations for venture capital investment in fintech, while London has sealed more fintech investment deals than any other global financial centre so far in 2019. Kenya, as the home of the world-famous mobile money system M-Pesa, is already leading the way in showcasing the kind of positive social impact fintech can have, providing affordable financial services to 30 million people across the continent. I want to see investors from the City of London supporting the emergence of the next M-Pesa, empowering individuals and businesses to borrow, save, and exchange money.
On Thursday, promising Kenyan fintech start-ups, explained how their innovative products could benefit companies, investors and consumers alike. Those start-ups are receiving business development and investor readiness support through the Catalyst Fund, and the announcement of £10 million of new UKAid funding to support this work. In the new year, the most promising Kenyan fintechs will travel to London to connect with the UK’s tech-savvy investment community at the Africa Investment Summit; a fantastic opportunity to attract investment and build new mutually beneficial partnerships. Investment in innovations which respond to climate change and build climate resilience is timely, and another area of future growth.
With an abundance of natural resources, and a range of entrepreneurs and companies already working in this space, the appetite for new opportunities in this field presents a real opportunity for Kenya. UK investment is already supporting large renewable projects like the Lake Turkana Wind-Farm and Malindi Solar, and UK support to Kenya’s Capital Markets Authority recently enabled the successful issuance of the country’s first Green Bond. Attracting more investment into companies that respond to one of the biggest challenges of our time, makes good business sense. The Africa Investment Summit will provide the Kenyan Government and Kenyan companies with the opportunity to build on previous successes, showcasing what Kenya has to offer to global investors in London. As the world’s leading hub for fintech investment and a leader in the development of the green and sustainable finance sectors, the City of London is keen to deepen its partnership with Kenya, supporting its ambitions to deliver long-term sustainable, inclusive, economic growth.