UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum (WCAF)


The inaugural UK-Francophone West and Central Africa Trade and Investment Forum took place on Wednesday 19th October at Merchant Taylors Hall in Central London.

This major intergovernmental and private sector summit was convened by DMA, DIT and UKEF and featured plenary sessions, vertical and geographic panels, deal rooms and a series of bilateral meetings between government and industry.

On the day, eight countries including the West Africa power houses of Senegal and Cote d'Ivoire joined Central Africa's Cameroon, the diverse economies of Benin, Niger and mineral-rich Guinea and the Commonwealth’s newest member states Gabon and Togo.

The Forum has been lauded as a breakthrough summit for the region and for the UK. Such was the interest, that 500 businesses, governments, friends and colleagues joined us for the event, with a further 300 businesses unable to gain admission due to capacity constraints.

The signed deals, on the day, exceeded £170mn and the pipeline from the day was in excess of £500mn with significantly larger longer-term prospects.

We are now focused on taking eight trade missions to each country present at the Forum in Q1, 2023. We will be announcing dates for the missions in November 2022.

As this event showed, with the combined HMG offer of diplomacy, trade and finance, much can be achieved in the region.

We extend our thanks to our friends, partners and event supporters, without whom we would not have been able to realise this landmark event which sets the stage for ever greater economic cooperation with this fast-growing, increasingly important and strategic geographic region.

The WCAF 2022 Photo Gallery can be viewed here

Press coverage: The Africa Report, London Stock Exchange news, Forbes Afrique




08:00 - 09:00: Registration & Refreshments

09:00 - 09:15: Welcome Address & Opening Comments

  • Office of the Secretary of State, Department for International Trade (DIT)
  • Samir Abhyankar, Managing Director and Head of Private Equity, British International Investment (BII)

09:15 – 09:30: Keynote Addresses

  • Tim Reid, Head of Business Group, UK Export Finance (UKEF)

09:30 – 10.30: The Unique Francophone Offer, Regional Economic Outlook and Investment Opportunities

Chair:  Laurence Robertson MP, Chairman, Westminster Africa Business Group (WABG)

  • Dr Mabouba Diagne, Vice President, ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development (EBID)
  • Tinashe Makoni, General Counsel, Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) 
  • Steve Gray OBE, Regional Head, West Africa, UK Export Finance
  • Mirabell Mayack, Head of Governmental Affairs, African Investment Intelligence

Q&A Session

10:30 - 11:00: Refreshments Break

11:00 - 11:50: Insight into Benin and Cameroon and the UK Public and Private Offer



  • Chair: HM Ambassador to Benin, Harriet Thompson
  • Chair: Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy to Cameroon, Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP
  • Hon. Romuald Wadagni, Minister of Finance
  • Hon. Alamine Ousmane Mey, Minister of Economy, Planning and Regional Development
  • Riham Mansour, Business Manager Infrastructure and Construction, UKEF
  • Simon Bunckenburg, Business Manager Infrastructure and Construction, UKEF
  • Mireille D'Oliveira Richards, Managing Director, Benin Connect
  • Brice Beumo, CEO, Beko Capital Advisory
  • Dr Diane Acha-Morfaw, Board Chairperson, Cameroon Investment Promotion Agency (IPA)
  • Q&A Session
  • Q&A Session



11:55 – 12:45:  Insight into Côte d’Ivoire and Gabon and the UK Public and Private Offer

Côte d’Ivoire


  • Chair: HM Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire, Catherine Brooker
  • Chair: HM Ambassador to Gabon, Christian Dennys
  • Hon. Pacôme Moubelet-Boubeya, Minister of Industry
  • Hon. Hugues Mbadinga Madiya, Minister of Investment Promotion and Public-Private Partnerships
  • Hon. Professor Lee White, Mnister of Environment
  • Hon. Souleymane Diarrassouba, Minister of Commerce, Industry and SME Promotion
  • Akim Daouda, CEO, Gabonese Sovereign  Wealth Fund
  • Michele Dee, Regional Head Africa and India, UKEF
  • Yasmine Siddiqi, Business Development Officer, UKEF
  • Kady Doumbia Coulibaly, President, Cote d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce (CICCGB) 
  • Igor Simard, Country Manager, Arise
  • Sonia Galat, Director, Cote d’Ivoire Chamber of Commerce (CICCGB) 
  • Sarmad Lone, Regional Head, Client Coverage, AME, CCIB, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Q&A Session
  • Q&A Session



12:45 - 13:40: Networking Lunch/Food Security and Job Creation Networking Lunch


13:40 – 14:30: Insight into Guinea and Niger and the UK Public and Private Offer



  • Chair: HM Ambassador to Guinea, Guy Harrison
  • Chair: HM Ambassador to Niger, Catherine Inglehearn
  • Hon. Moussa Cisse, Minister of Economy, Finance and Planning
  • Hon. Dr Ahmat Jidoud, Minister of Finance


  • Hon. Alpha Bacar Barry, Minister of Vocational Training and Professional Education
  • Hon. Alkache Alhada, Minister of Commerce
  • Ismael  Nabe, Advisor to the Prime Minister in charge of Investments and Partnerships
  • Mr Moussa Sidi Mohamed, President, Niger Chamber of Commerce
  • Boris Medimorec, Senior Underwriter, UKEF
  • Caroline Healy, Strategy, Policy and Climate Change, UKEF
  • Gerard Rheinberger, Managing Director, Simandou Project, Rio Tinto
  • Q&A Session
  • Q&A Session



14:35 - 15:25: Insight into Senegal and Togo and the UK Public and Private Offer



  • Chair: HM Ambassador to Senegal, Juliette John
  • Chair: HM High Commissioner to Togo, Harriet Thompson
  • Hon. Dr Cheikh Kante, Minister of Plan Senegal Emergent
  • Hon. Kodzo Adedje, Minister of Trade, Industry and Local Consumption


  • Sijd Diagne, Advisor to the Minister of Economy
  • Adam Harris, Head of Civil, Infrastructure and Energy, UKEF
  • Hon. Rose Mivedor, Minister of Investment Promotion


  • Paul Woodman, Managing Director, ASGC
  • Rodrigue Akue-Atsa, Advisor, Investment Attraction, Ministry of Investment Promotion
  • Sujithav Sarangi, Executive Director, Project & Export Finance, Standard Chartered Bank
  • Carla Senatore, Senior Origination Officer Africa/Asia, UKEF
  • Q&A Session
  • Q&A Session


15:25 – 15.45: Tea and Coffee Break


15:45 - 15:55: DIT's Commitment to Francophone Africa

  • John Humphrey, Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner to Africa, Department for International Trade


16:00 – 16:40: UK Expertise - Spotlights i.

Spotlight on Infrastructure

Spotlight on Agriculture

  • Chair: Dr Nick Westcott, Director, Royal African Society
  • Elizabeth McCrory, Senior Export Finance Manager, UKEF
  • Sylvie Fekeram Wanogho, Finance Director, ERG International
  • Nabil Saimi, Head of Business Development, InfraCo Africa
  • Chair: Lord Henry Bellingham, Former Minister for Africa
  • Richard Hill, Export Finance Manager, UKEF
  • David Burton, Sector Director Agriculture – Africa, DIT
  • Hon. Antoine Lekpa Gbegbeni, Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Rural Development, Togo
  • Cleber Guarany, Project Coordinator, FGV Europe


16:45 – 17:25: UK Expertise - Spotlights ii.

Spotlight on Energy

Spotlight on Blue Economy / Water

  • Chair: Michael Tchenga Wanchi, Country Director, Cameroon DIT
  • Alex Douglas, Managing Director, Business Development; Head of West Africa, Globeleq
  • Loic Ehua, Business Development Manager, Gridworks
  • Chris Antonopoulos, CEO, Lekela
  • Chair: Lauren McEvatt, Managing Director, Morpeth Consulting
  • Eddie Malone, Head of Water, DIT
  • Philip Foster, Founder and CEO, Aqua Africa
  • Uzi Sezer, General Coordinator, Water Infrastructure Projects, ERG International
  • Lina Osman, Head, Sustainable Finance West, CCIB, Standard Chartered Bank


17:30 - 18.10: UK Expertise - Spotlights iii.

Spotlight on Financial Services

Spotlight on Health and Education

  • Chair: Atam Sandhu, CEO, DMA Invest
  • Sarah Russis, Global Head of Sales, fDi Intelligence/FT
  • Tom Attenborough, Head of International Business Development, Primary Markets, Capital Markets, London Stock Exchange Group
  • David Aldridge, Country Director, Currency, De La Rue
  • Steve Gray OBE, Regional Head, West Africa, UKEF
  • Chair: Roger Martin, Advisory Board Member, DMA Invest
  • Hon. Minister Alpha Bacar Barry, Minister of Vocational Training and Professional Education, Gabon
  • David Sheppard, Deputy Head of Healthcare: Infrastructure, Education and Training, DIT
  • Jonathan Ledger, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Specialist, International Education Team, DIT
  • Dr David Johnson, Academic Director, Planet One Group

18:15: Closing Ceremony and Gala Reception



One-on-one meetings with the delegation taking place at individual Embassies/High Commissions/missions