The UK is driving to strengthen its economic partnerships with African countries, as part of the new Borisgovernment’s drive to sustain the continent’s growing demand for investment is facilitated by the UK’s world class expertise and innovation.
Programmes from the Department for International Development (DFID) and the Department for International Trade (DIT) will aim to target areas such as clean energy supplies, digital telecommunication networks, employment and business opportunities for the underprivileged.
Currently, Africa has 8 of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies and there is massive demand on the continent for clean, sustainable and innovative investment. As home to some of the world’s most enterprising technologies and the financial centre of the world, the UK is perfectly placed to meet that demand and be the continent’s investment partner of choice
Majority of the trade deals signed with the UK are in the clean energy, digital literacy and improving basic trade infrastructure. To that end, the UK has managed to sign trade agreements with at least 11 African countries, covering almost 43% of the UK’s total trade with Africa. Furthermore, the UK is legislated for a trade preferences scheme with a further 35 African countries, with the determination to build and deepen existing future trade agreements.
UK’s International Development Secretary Alok Sharma acknowledged that Africa’s economic potential is immense, with eight of the world’s 15 fastest growing economies and a population set to double to over 2 billion by 2050. This presents unique opportunities for UK and Africa to forge better economic arrangements post-Brexit.
This position was also supported by International Trade Secretary Liz Truss who said,“Trade with countries across Africa has never been more exciting. As opportunities there grow, it’s great to see so many British firms paving the way in trading and investing in the region to drive growth, create jobs and boost vital infrastructure”.
As the UK charts its new and revitalised economic and trade policies, the exact benefit to Africa will only be tested with time. UK has a very long history with Africa and the new approach will need to offer lucrative benefits to Africa as the likes of China and other developing countries have been making headway to Africa as well.