British Premier Theresa May has said that she will make major investments in Africa, as one of the outcomes of her three-day tour of the continent. May has pledged USD 5.1 Bn in investment support for the markets spread throughout Africa. Her role of deepening trade ties with Africa – the world second most populous continent – comes ahead of Britain’s departure from the European Union in the coming year.
According to May, Britain’s post-Brexit goal is to strengthen its global partnerships, and the nation’s direct investment in Africa will mark a fundamental yet significant shift in focus from short-term poverty reduction to long-term growth in the economic sector. May’s words inform that the United Kingdom will do well to treat African nations with equity and fairness – as Britain’s unvarying egalitarian partner, while aiding British firms in bringing about an upheaval in trade activities with the Ivorian and Senegalese economies, amongst others.
Quoting May; true partnerships are not about one party doing on to another; but states, governments, businesses and individuals working together responsibly to achieve a series of common goals. According to her, the main goal of the UK’s investment will be to harness the innovative and creative capacity of young Africans. Sharing in the demur faced by the continent, May says the remonstrance is not Africa’s to bear alone, but in the world’s best interest to see to the creation of jobs.
While speaking at a grade school in Cape Town, South Africa, the British Premier, May put cards on the tables as regards the expansion of an educational scholarship for African students to attend colleges in the United Kingdom. A clip of Theresa May boogieing down and tripping the fantastic light with the students and teachers at the I.D Mkize Secondary School has “at least” gone viral.
Another focus of Britain’s investment will be the move to addressing the security bottlenecks impeding the flow of trade in the African transparent ecosystem. This, according to May, will be achieved by bolstering states under threat from the Islamic extremism in countries such as Chad, Mali and Niger.
May also disclosed that the United Kingdom would carry over the European Union’s trading investments with the Southern African Customs Union, which includes the countries of South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Mozambique. The union gives these countries the avenue to gain undemanding access to British and European markets.
Since May stepped foot on African soil, she has been trying to downplay and possibly allay the fears of the economic damage Brexit might catalyse for the United Kingdom. On Tuesday morning, she told reporters that a no-deal Brexit is better than a bad deal and that a no-deal wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Yesterday, Weetracker reported about May’s vow for the U.K to overtake the U.S as the biggest investor of the G-7 countries in Africa – a statement that has now been received and analysed by some critics. According to them, the United Kingdom is arriving the party too late when it comes to African economies’ support. Lord Boateng who is chair of the African Enterprise Challenge Fund – a platform that awards grants to private sector companies to support new and innovative business models in Africa – told BBC Radio 4 that Britain has a lot of catching up to do, but will nevertheless work hard.
According to Boateng, the reality is that the Chinese, Korean, French, Indians, Japanese and Germans tend to have a much more proactive response to African businesses than the UK traditionally has. He says Britain must catch up if the nation is to make the most of what is a historic opportunity to recast the relationship between Africa and the U.K away from it being seen solely as a philanthropic display to an opportunity that involves risks and support by government for British companies.
Keep to tabs with us as we will bring you the highlights of May’s continued visit to Nigeria and Kenya, both of which are former British colonies.