“As we redefine our place in the world following the EU Referendum, it is vital that the UK deepens existing relationships with African countries and establishes new trade, investment and economic links that deliver in our national interests, by bringing new opportunities for British businesses and creating our trading partners of the future,” said Priti Patel – International Development Secretary.
Ms Priti Patel, is the first Cabinet Minister to visit Africa since the UK voted to leave the European Union. Upon her visit, she made statements depicting the interest of the Department for International Developments’ interest in increasing their support to the poorest people in Africa to work their way out of poverty through job creation and increasing trade opportunities for the mass. She furthered to say that no country can overcome poverty without a robust sustained economy, and thus, the DFID is dedicated to support Africa in that regards. She announced new supports which are geared towards boosting economic development in Africa and particularly in Kenya.
These support includes, the launch of a new investment programme for the continent which is set to encourage at least 400miliion GBP towards direct investment into the most productive sectors of Africa. The scheme is also anticipated to create about 90,000 direct jobs and indirect jobs in Kenya and other countries in Africa. The investment plan is expected to be effected and operationalized over the next 10 years. Additionally, to support Kenya, UK AID will commit to provide 95 million GBP to promote the Kenya’s trade by 2021 – boosting their trade to 1.3 billion GBP. Already, TradeMark East Africa (an initiative of UK AID) has yielded success in overcoming hurdles of trade in the region. Cumulatively, this makes UK the largest European investor in Africa.
Still on new supports, UK AID will provide 35 million GBP to help go beyond meeting the basic needs of refugees – focusing on creating trading opportunities and sustainable livelihoods closer to home. This support benefits not only those who have been displaced by conflict and persecution but also host communities, encouraging greater integration and stability.
With Africa now home to the world’s fastest growing population, Ms Patel set out the importance of generating productive jobs and sustainable livelihoods, opening up markets, stimulating economic growth and increasing business opportunities to make the most of a young, vibrant working population. This provides a better alternative to risking the dangerous journey to Europe or turning to extremism, therefore tackling migration and instability, which is firmly in the UK’s interests.