Leading East African planning, design, architecture and engineering team FBW Group has welcomed the launch of the USA’s Africa Investment Advisor Programme as a potential “game-changer” for the region.
The aim of the programme is to increase trade and investment between the US and Africa, including attracting more private sector investment in key sectors, including healthcare and technology.
It has been launched by the US International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), which has established a new regional team as Africa continues to respond to both the health and economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic
The agency currently has roughly $8billion invested across more than 300 projects on the continent.
FBW Group has a strong-track record of working successfully with international organisations and businesses investing in transformational projects in Africa. These include global organisations including the World Bank and the UN.
It is currently working to deliver a series of major healthcare projects, including a US-backed university initiative in Rwanda and UK-supported programmes in Uganda and Malawi, where it is part of the team delivering the Creator project (pictured), the country’s first specialist postgraduate medical training centre.
Paul Moores, FBW Group managing director, believes the new US focus on Africa will unlock major opportunities and is a sign of growing American awareness of the potential that exists for those willing to invest.
He said: “The DFC drive in Africa is much welcomed, especially as the impact of Covid-19 on communities and local economies is becoming more evident, along with the pressing need for more investment in healthcare and infrastructure.
“It is a sign of the growing importance the US is placing on Africa and the opportunities it presents for trade and investment.
“We’ve also seen that with the encouraging news that the White House is hosting a gathering of African heads of state in September at a special investment event.”
Paul, who is based in Kampala, Uganda, added: “All this activity and emphasis could be a real game-changer for Africa in the post-Covid world.
“We also hope that businesses in the UK and Europe will recognise this African drive by the Americans and also look to explore the unlocked potential and the partnerships they can forge for their benefit, and for the benefit of people in countries across Africa.
“It is worth remembering that Africa’s young and dynamic population will make up a quarter of the world’s consumers by 2050.”
Announcing the US initiative, DFC managing director for Africa Worku Gachou said: “The launch of this team at a time when many investors are skittish about emerging markets underscores DFC’s commitment to Africa.
“Now more than ever Africa needs private sector investment. DFC continues to see significant opportunity on the continent and is eager to leverage its new regional footprint to unlock that potential.”
US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Tibor Nagy added: “The deployment of DFC investment advisors to Africa advances one of our top priorities: increasing trade and investment between the United States and Africa.
“The new advisors will complement and enhance our deal teams at US. embassies across the continent to create more opportunities for US and African companies.”
The announcement comes at an especially critical time as Covid-19 continues to impact communities across Africa. Cumulative loss to GDP as a result of the pandemic is estimated to be as much as $236bn by 2021.
FBW is a major player in the region’s construction and development sector and is celebrating operating in East Africa for 25 years, working on high-profile infrastructure projects enabled and driven by international investment.
The multi-disciplinary planning, design, architecture and engineering group currently has a workforce of more than 30 professionals delivering high value construction and development projects in the region. It has operations in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The group, which has recruited some of the top talent in architecture, design and engineering in East Africa as part of its plans for growth, offers a wide range of in-house professional building and technical services.
They include pre-design services, development consultancy, building appraisals and condition surveys, project management, architecture, civil and structural engineering, MEP engineering, telecommunication engineering, and other building consultancy services.