UK to invest £2bn yearly to create jobs

development finance institution
Kwabena Asante-Poku, CDC Coverage Director for Ghana

The UK government’s development finance institution, CDC Group, as part of its five-year strategy will invest up to £2billion per annum, beginning this year, in some critical sectors of the economy.

In an interview with the B&FT, CDC’s Coverage Director for Ghana, Kwabena Asante-Poku, indicated CDC will offer patient capital which will be channelled into investments that will drive significant development impact. Its three key strategic objectives focus on Productive, Sustainable and Inclusive development.

“In Ghana, we want to partner with businesses in job-creating sectors, back innovative industries and those that can promote the country’s green growth and sustainable future. We will also collaborate to increase funding to businesses and entrepreneurs whose services can positively impact women, youth, and marginalised groups,” the Coverage Director said.

“We invest in the following sectors: infrastructure, financial services, manufacturing, agriculture, real estate, technology and other services. Our investments will also focus on three primary themes in Ghana: SME development, gender finance, and climate finance,” he emphasised.

CDC is a central part of the UK’s offer to help developing and emerging countries meet their significant financing needs for infrastructure and enterprise.

CDC’s portfolio of investments

CDC’s portfolio of investments in Ghana has grown to over US$160million, and it currently works with 43 pioneering companies across the country that employ over 11,500 people.

The development finance institution’s partnership with Ghana began with investments toward building new roads through the Coast Construction Company Limited in 1959. Over the years, CDC has supported Ghana’s private sector development through its investment partners such as Africa Infrastructure Investment Managers, AfricInvest, 8 Miles, and Helios Investment Partners, among others, and close collaborations with private equity fund managers with a local presence in the Ghanaian market.

“In 2019, we made a US$20million commitment to Verod Capital’s Growth Fund III, supporting SME development in Nigeria and Ghana. In the same year, we also committed US$15million to PEG Solar,” Mr. Asante-Poku mentioned.

The company provides financing for pay-as-you-go solar power home systems and solar water irrigation to communities that do not have access to the grid in West Africa.

Climate Change

“Our focus on climate change mitigation through supporting sustainable forestry is most powerfully demonstrated by CDC’s initial investment in Miro Forestry in 2015. Since then, the company has expanded its plantations and operations,” Mr. Asante-Poku said.

This has supported about 2,000 direct jobs in Ghana and Sierra Leone, and countless indirect jobs in places like Drabonso and Sekyere Afram Plains.

He revealed that CDC partnered with Miro due to the business’s high sustainability standards and the impact its operations can have on helping to reduce climate change and increase local employment.

“As we prepare to become British International Investment (BII) on April 4, 2022, our strategy will emphasise the benefits of impact investing and share the highest levels of ethics, standards and transparency with our partners, along with British values,” he said.


Leave a Reply