Kora, a pan-African payments infrastructure, has been announced as one of the two new Commonwealth-sourced foreign direct investments (FDI) projects for the West Midlands at the Commonwealth Games which opened in Birmingham, UK.
India’s first credit platform, The Disposal Company, was the other project announced alongside Kora.
Kora was unveiled during a presentation at the Commonwealth Business Forum which had business leaders and government officials gathered at the International Convention Centre, organised in partnership with the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council,
“These valuable Commonwealth-sourced investments are a sign that the Global Growth Programme is already bearing fruit, underlining Birmingham’s position as an international business hub. I have no doubt that Kora and The Disposal Company will thrive in our city and I look forward to many more growing enterprises choosing to base their UK headquarters here.”Ian Ward, leader of Birmingham City Council
The programme will provide Kora and The Disposal Company with a package of free support, including ‘soft landing’ office space at Bruntwood SciTech’s Innovation Birmingham campus.
About the Commonwealth FDI
The Commonwealth games ceremony offered business leaders and government officials gathered, to explore how the transition to net zero can stimulate sustainable economic growth through trade, including green investment opportunities, innovative technologies and green finance even while the athletes carry out their games.
Both Commonwealth-sourced investments have been secured as a direct result of the Global Growth Programme, a new support package for international companies looking to grow in the UK. The programme will also help UK businesses from the region to get export-ready.
Speaking on the investments, Andrew Griffith MP, UK Minister for Exports said:
“I’m so pleased to share these new investments, a direct result of the Global Growth Programme, which has helped to showcase the potential of the West Midlands for businesses to invest in. We already have free trade agreements with 33 Commonwealth nations, and additional ones that we are currently negotiating will unlock fresh opportunities for further collaboration, particularly in the green industries that are priorities for the UK and our Commonwealth partners.”
West Midlands Mayor Andy Street said: “This milestone investment places the West Midlands at the heart of Accenture’s UK growth plans, delivering hundreds of high-value new jobs to meet rising local demand. The scale of the firm’s expansion reflects the extent of economic opportunity in the region, with the West Midlands boasting the UK’s largest business hub outside London and the largest concentration of cross-cutting industry strengths.
“Our emerging capabilities in fields including industry 4.0, fintech and low carbon technologies have helped fuel Accenture’s innovation-oriented, client-driven expansion, which includes a shared vision to drive forward the net zero agenda”, he adds.
What this means for Kora
In pursuit of its mission to enable payments across, into and outside of Africa, the West Midlands office will be Kora’s first European presence.
The Techstars-backed company has chosen Birmingham as the location for its first UK sales and support office due to the city’s established fintech and banking ecosystem and its rich tech-oriented talent pool.
Gideon Orovwiroro, Chief Operating Officer Kora said:
“Marking our first ever European investment, the launch of our new Birmingham office is a major milestone for Kora. The region’s extensive pipeline of tech talent and strong track record in FinTech and banking will support us in enabling more businesses and individuals to use our innovative payments infrastructure,”
The West Midlands Global Growth Programme is part of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games Business and Tourism Programme (BATP) – the first economic legacy programme of its kind aligned to the Commonwealth Games and is designed to strengthen bilateral ties between the UK and other Commonwealth markets.
The event also marked the launch of UK House – an eight-day programme of trade and investment talks taking place alongside the Games, brokering new partnerships for sustainable growth.
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