On 23rd July we hosted our inaugural digitised event, Access to Capital - Africa. To view the event on demand, please visit here.
Opened by the Under Secretary of State for the FCO and DfID, Minister for Africa, James Duddridge MP, gave an excellent snapshot into how the UK is supporting Africa’s response to COVID-19; his government’s commitment to increasing access to local currency finance and bonds; how HMG is bringing liquidity to the market through financial institutions, such as CDC; and how, in being one of the largest donors to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), it is loaning working capital to SMEs during COVID-19 in Africa.
The Minister emphasised the importance of building a UK-Africa partnership based on trade, investment and mutual interest, and the key role the has to play in making sure Africa’s financial system works for the benefit of everyone. We must “continue our collective efforts to simulate capital markets, whilst supporting a green and sustainable recovery as part of Africa’s brighter future”.
The event’s Chair, Adil Kurt-Eli, explored how businesses can think strategically about finding the most suitable ways of raising capital whilst reducing complexity, and what this means in the current global environment. We then heard from our panellists, who span a range of financing solutions; the private equity firm Skybound Capital, the UK’s export credit agency UK Export Finance and the diaspora investment advisory platform Homestrings.
Jabir Sardharwalla, emphasised the huge opportunity in Africa and Skybound capital’s appetite for private capital within the SME and micro-capital space. Carla Senatore, outlined how UK Export Finance can complement the private sector by providing support to export businesses through insurance policies, buyer finance and working capital. The series of presentations was concluded by Eric Guichard, Homestrings, emphasised that “diaspora capital is here to stay”, and amounts to a significant pool of savings that can be used to support growth initiatives in-country.
Our interactive Q&A session delved into the themes raised by the presenters, whilst responding to questions raised by the audience covering the specific types of support available, currency covertability, transparency and clean growth.
We would like to thank James Duddridge MP and our panellists for their excellent presentations and support. Many thanks to our media partner, the Wall Street Journal.
11.00 - 11.05: Opening Address
James Duddridge MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development
11.05 - 11.45: Access to Capital
Chair: Adil Kurt-Elli, Chief Executive Officer, aldersmead and Former Head, Emerging Markets, HSBC
Jabir Sardharwalla, Chief Strategist, Skybound Capital
Carla Senatore, Senior Business Origination Officer, UK Export Finance
Eric Guichard, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Homestrings
11:45 – 12.15: Interactive Discussion Session