August 28, 2018
Theresa May has arrived in Cape Town for the start of her three-nation Africa trade mission.
The Prime Minister landed in South Africa’s legislative capital on board the RAF Voyager following a 12-hour flight.
Mrs May received a guard a honour at Cape Town International Airport.
Theresa May arrives in Africa to become world’s biggest investor in continent
She emerged from the RAF Voyager holding a light blue umbrella and walked down the red carpet to a waiting car.
Mrs May is expected to declare her desire for the UK to overtake the United States to become the G7’s leading investor in Africa by 2022, amid warnings of ‘greater conflict and an increased susceptibility to extremism’ emerging if jobs are not created.
Downing Street believes helping young people in Africa secure jobs will stabilise the economy of their country while also reducing the likelihood of them undertaking risky journeys to Europe.
The PM is also expected to reassert the UK’s shift in strategy over aid spending – using the trip to encourage private sector investment alongside efforts to alleviate extreme poverty.
Britain’s overseas aid budget totalled £13.9 billion in 2017, an increase of £555 million in 2016 and in line with the legal commitment to invest 0.7 per cent of national income in this area.
Theresa May arrives in Africa to become world’s biggest investor in continent
It has proven a controversial pledge among some Tory backbenchers, with successive international development secretaries vowing to use the cash to help develop trade against the backdrop of Brexit.
Mrs May is expected to use her speech to outline investment in Britain’s diplomatic network in Africa, with the use of trade experts to help encourage investment, amid growing influence on the continent from other countries including China.
Business leaders and ministers, including the international trade department’s George Hollingbery, are accompanying Mrs May on her first visit to Africa as PM which includes meetings with the presidents of each country on her agenda.
Speaking at the First National Bank in Cape Town on Tuesday, Mrs May is expected to say the private sector is key to driving growth in labour markets and ‘unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit’ in Africa.
She will say: ‘However, for a variety of reasons the private sector has not yet managed to deliver the level of job creation and investment that many African nations need.
‘So I want to put our development budget and expertise at the centre of our partnership as part of an ambitious new approach – and use this to support the private sector to take root and grow.’
Mrs May will add: ‘I am unashamed about the need to ensure that our aid programme works for the UK.
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