The financing was announced on Monday 20 January by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss at the UK-Africa Investment Summit. It will be used to support exports in Ghana, Zambia, Gabon and Uganda.
While some of the money will go towards funding other economic projects in the countries, such as airport expansion and road infrastructure improvement, around £354 million will be given to Ghana and Zambia, allowing the countries to develop and enhance healthcare facilities.
Some of the financing (£110 million) will enable the upgrade and construction of Kumasi teaching hospital in Ghana. Kumasi teaching hospital is the main regional hospital for the Ashanti region in South Ghana, and the money will help provide 750 beds for maternity care, which will have a direct impact on reducing mother and child mortality rates.
A direct loan of £244 million will support the design construction, equipping and operation of 108 rural healthcare clinics and thee hospitals by NMS limited in Zambia. Each clinic will be powered by solar energy, ensuring renewable, reliable power in remote areas.
“This high social impact project will be transformational on healthcare and the lives of local people, especially in remote areas. UKEF’s flexible finance has made it possible for our company to deliver these benefits while also generating significant exports for the UK as well as creating hundreds of local jobs in Zambia,” said Frederik Hsu, Deputy Chairman, NMS Infrastructure Limited. “We look forward to starting these projects and to seeing the impact they will have on the local economy."