On 5th April 2022, the UK’s Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, and UK’s development finance institution CEO Nick O’Donohoe celebrated in Lusaka the launch of the institution’s new name, British International Investment (BII), formerly the CDC Group.
The event, which was attended by Ministers and business leaders, marked the first official launch of the BII brand in Africa, demonstrating the UK’s commitment to working with the Government of Zambia on productive, sustainable, and inclusive growth.
After 74-year of history across Africa and a track record of investing to support private-sector growth and accelerate impact, BII will scale its commitment to Africa and set new ambitions to usher in a new wave of investment in clean and green infrastructure and digital transformation.
BII investment already supports over 6,000 jobs across 20 companies within a range of sectors, and its recent allocation of a USD 20 million trade finance facility to five banks in Zambia, provides fresh capital that helps keep trade flowing through the economy.
BII will continue to make investments that bolster financial institutions and businesses, create jobs, and boost trade in Zambia.
Moreover, the strategy to scale climate finance in Africa will help deliver on the Green Growth Compac, a framework signed by the UK and the Government of Zambia outlining their joint objective to build a stronger, more diversified, and inclusive Zambian economy.
Commenting on the launch, Nick O’Donohoe, CEO of BII, said: “I am pleased to be here with Minister Ford in Zambia, a country with whom BII has such a strong shared history. From our first investment in Zambia over 70 years ago, we have targeted a broad range of sectors where we saw opportunities to respond to the country’s growth needs and help mobilize greater investments to transform the economy. As we step into our new strategy under a new name, as a British institution at the heart of the UK Government’s international financing offering, we remain committed to scaling investment that will address the most pressing development needs across Africa. In Zambia, we will direct our capital toward supporting industries that will ensure Zambia’s green development pathway and help build economic prosperity for future generations.”
For her part, Minister for Africa Vicky Ford, MP said: “Launching the new British International Investment (BII) here in Zambia is a key moment for the UK financing of private sector growth and infrastructure across Africa. We are committed to support countries grow their own economies, bolster private sector investment and trade, and deliver the returns that will support wider socio-economic development.”
She also announced that GBP 4m of UK aid funding is being invested through InfraCoAfrica into projects in Zambia that will help boost electricity access for families and businesses.