UK signs 11 trade agreements with African countries
London, Jan 20, 2020 (AltAfrica)-The UK government says it has signed 11 trade agreements with African countries, just over a week before it officially leaves the European Union.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson meets 16 African leaders at an investment summit Monday (20 January) that will see Britain cast out a net for trading partners in its new life outside the EU.
The 16 leaders from 21 attending African countries include presidents Abdel Fattah al-Sisi of Egypt and Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Ghanaian leader Nana Akufo-Addo will also attend.
Johnson will tell the African leaders and big company executives that he wants to make Britain their “investment partner of choice,” Downing Street said.
He is also expected to announce an end to Britain’s support for thermal coal mining and coal power plants overseas.
“UK aid is tackling climate change and supporting women entrepreneurs,” Britain’s International Development Secretary Alok Sharma said in statement.
The first UK-Africa Investment Summit in London comes less than two weeks before Britain formally ends its decades-long involvement in the European integration project.
It also follows a tour of sub-Saharan Africa former prime minister Theresa May made in 2018 — the first by a UK leader in five years which also provided some informal trade agreements
It is expected to unveil a new strategy for development in Africa later on Monday, which will focus more on infrastructure and trade.
At least a dozen African leaders are in London for a summit aimed at boosting the UK’s private sector investment on the continent.
This is a major shift in the UK’s relationship with Africa.
It is about using aid money to support investment. The Department for International Development says it is now focusing on digital technologies, green energy and women entrepreneurs.
UK businesses will also play a big role. They have already signed deals worth more than £6bn ($7.8bn), with more expected during the summit.
With many of the fastest growing economies and a rapidly expanding population, Africa is seen as an attractive market for long-term investors.
Africa has a rapidly growing population with one in four of the world’s population expected to come from the continent by the middle of the century.