The ambitious plans will deliver a major Brexit boost for British firms and investors by building up new and secure markets to trade with and they underline her resolve to turn Britain into a truly global nation doing business around the world in economies with massive and growing potential .
They were unveiled as she landed from South Africa in the Nigerian capital Abuja, on the second leg of a three day visit to build new trading partnerships in Africa in the run up to Brexit.
Later today, in the Nigerian port city of Lagos, the first U.K.-Africa FinTech Partnership will be announced, boosting cooperation on state of the art financial transaction technology, in which Nigeria is already highly advanced.
UK-Nigeria trade was worth £4.2 billion last year and British companies including British Airways, GSK, Shell, Diageo, Unilever and Standard Chartered have long-established operations in the west African state, dating back as far as the 1930s.
111 African companies have already come to the UK to list on the London Stock Exchange, to raise money in one of the world’s leading financial centres.
In Lagos Mrs May will meet leading Nigerian businessman Aliko Dangote and welcome news that he is committing to list his $10 billion cement company on the LSE.
Also today, oil and gas company Seplat Petroleum is committing to list its $350 million eurobond programme on the LSE.
To encourage even deeper collaboration on capital markets between London and Lagos, the Prime Minister will announce a new initiative to further support Nigeria’s regulator the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Britain is a leading global hub for FinTech which contributes over £5 billion to the UK economy every year and Lagos is at the forefront of FinTech innovation in Africa.
The first UK-Africa FinTech partnership will use the UK’s expertise to support African entrepreneurs, improve access to financial services for consumers and encourage new investment.
Nigerian entrepreneurs will be connected with UK FinTech investors and business mentors to get the finance and advice they need to start and grow their companies, while a dedicated fund worth up to £2million will support Nigerian innovators as they turn their ideas into successful businesses.
To support African entrepreneurs and help British companies enter this rapidly expanding market, the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority watchdog will work with regulators in Africa to share UK’s experience of developing regulation and policies that encourage innovation and protect consumers.
The FCA will also explore new mechanisms to help financial innovators try out new ideas.
Mrs May, who has vowed this week to build renewed partnerships with countries across Africa and has brought a delegation of British business people with her on her tour to explore and strike deals, said: “Already the finance and business links between Lagos and London are bringing enormous benefits to businesses and people in the UK and in Nigeria and today’s announcements deepen this burgeoning partnership even further.
“London is a world leading financial centre and as the UK leaves the European Union, it will play an even greater role in financing the fastest-growing economies across Africa and the world.”
In Lagos she will also announce the launch of a 12 month skill sharing programme – Legal Services are GREAT – which will see UK legal professionals working with their Nigerian counterparts to support and build the country’s legal industry, sharing knowledge, skills and experience in areas such as infrastructure and science, and advising on issues like cross-border transactions.
The Government believes the British legal system’s reputation for transparency, certainty and predictability will help increase investor confidence in Nigeria’s business environment while also creating new business opportunities for UK law firms and chambers.
She will also announce creation of new Innovation Partnerships in South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria, bringing together British and African expertise to address global challenges and provide tailored support to businesses across the continent to help them connect, grow and trade.
There will also be a new programme to help innovative companies in northern Nigeria attract investment and scale up their businesses – helping three million people earn more and creating 100,000 new jobs , almost half of them for women.
The UK Government is supporting trade between the two countries, including with up to £750million available for British businesses who want to export to Nigeria through UK Export Finance.