CDC Group, the UK Government’s international impact investor, has announced plans to scale up investments in Africa in the next five years.
CDC operates in five-year strategy periods, which are agreed and ratified by its shareholder, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office, part of the UK Government. Its next strategy period begins on January 1, 2022, and runs until the end of 2026. The aim is to invest £1.5 – £2 billion per annum over the period.
The Group has invested £4 billion in Africa since 2017, and will now build on its new strategy for digital transformation and innovation in Africa.
CDC will invest across a range of vital sectors that catalyse new global opportunities and address complex development challenges, such as infrastructure, which is critical to raising productivity and competitiveness and improving the livelihoods of communities and cities across the continent.
CDC’s infrastructure investee partners include Globeleq, a leading independent power producer with investments in Cuamba (Mozambique), Benban Solar Park (Egypt) and Malindi Solar Group (East Africa); Liquid Telecom the largest independent fibre and cloud provider in Africa and its recent Gateway partnership that sees CDC collaborating with DP World to chart a stronger course for African trade around the world. See Appendix for more details about its portfolio across all sectors.
The new strategy has a set of three strategic objectives to invest in support of productive development, sustainable development and inclusive development to meet the global opportunities and challenges that lie ahead, including the need for jobs and inclusive growth and the twin crises of climate change and natural resource depletion.
It also focuses on climate investment, including in the Indo-Pacific region, specifically in the larger economies of the Philippines, Indonesia and the Mekong region (Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos), with a particular emphasis on the renewables sector.
There will be an expanded remit into the Caribbean which will have a similar investment focus.
This more geographically diverse approach complements the organisation’s existing strong profile in Africa and South Asia. In the past five years CDC has invested close to £7 billion and mobilised a further £2.5 billion – and in doing so it has backed businesses that employ over 900,000 people and which have paid in excess of £10 billion in taxes.
The strategy will bring the best of British finance, innovation, ethics, and standards to create sustainable and equitable economic outcomes for those that are most in need of investment support, particularly in light of COVID-19.
“Building on CDC’s legacy, British International Investment will make investments that support the aspirations of entrepreneurs and businesses in a responsible and transparent manner,” said Nick O’Donohoe, Chief Executive of CDC.
“We will be a trusted partner to some of the countries across our markets that want to create sustainable and prosperous futures for their people. We will deliver on the UK’s promise to support emerging economies to combat climate change and track the impact of each investment to ensure every penny is used productively.”
Ms Truss also announced the appointment of Diana Layfield, as CDC’s first female Chair in its 73-year history. She will succeed Sir Graham Wrigley who was appointed in 2013 and will be stepping down, as previously announced, early in 2022 after a transitional period.
Ms Layfield is currently Google President, EMEA Partnerships and a Non-Executive Director at AstraZeneca. She was formerly the Chief Executive of Standard Chartered, Africa Region.
CDC is changing its name to British International Investment. The new name signifies the increased breadth of what the organisation already does and highlights its role as part of the UK Government’s international financing offer, working to bring not just capital, but the highest levels of governance, standards and transparency to its investments.
CDC will formally become British International Investment plc on April 4, 2022.