By Irene Gaitirira
Published August 25, 2017
Britain has unveiled new measures aimed at creating wealth and bringing about stability across Africa and improving global security.
Speaking in Germany during the G20 Summit in July 2017, British Prime Minister Theresa May said the new measures are also aimed at reducing the continent’s reliance upon aid. She also called for global action to unlock what she described as ‘huge untapped economic potential of Africa’.
She said a more prosperous Africa would lift millions of people out of poverty while also offering Britain greater security at home and significant future trading opportunities.
The new measures are based on three key principles:
- Building a modern partnership with Africa which is focussed much more strongly on supporting African aspirations for trade, investment and growth;
- Creating millions of new jobs;
- Committing to work with others including the private sector to stimulate trillions of pounds/dollars investment into Africa.
Some 20 million jobs need to be created in Africa every year until 2035 just to absorb new entrants into the labour force.
The Prime Minister contends that if young people remain permanently excluded with jobs and opportunities always out of reach then destabilising migratory patterns to Europe will persist – with extremist causes and criminality more likely to thrive.
The measures announced by Britain include:
- A new London Centre for Global Disaster Protection, which will use world-leading UK expertise and innovation to help developing countries strengthen disaster planning and use insurance to provide more cost-effective, rapid and reliable finance in emergencies, such as the severe drought in East Africa. This will reduce the need for expensive humanitarian aid, reassure private investors and help people rebuild their lives. Insurance protection built through this centre could provide £2 billion when crises hit to ensure that the high costs of disasters aren’t borne by people or businesses trapping them in cycles of poverty, and its work to build insurance markets in developing countries could generate billions of pounds each year in additional national investment to boost economic development;
- New £60 million support to help Africa integrate into global financial markets, by building a robust and transparent financial sector that will attract more investment and financial innovation, help its banking sector stand on its own two feet and direct finance where it is most needed. This paves the way for a strong partnership with the City of London, creating more opportunities for London to become the finance hub for Africa;
- Providing £61 million to boost trade infrastructure in Tanzania – including working with the World Bank to nearly double the capacity of Dar es Salaam port;
- £30 million dedicated to helping Somalia’s state and economy recover from conflict by building a functioning civil service for sound economic management and helping up to a million people benefit from better roads and water supply; and
- £35 million UK support to Ethiopia and £11.8 million to Rwanda to help attract private investment so these countries can be less dependent on aid.
“We must not forget that progress in Africa benefits the UK at home. Our international aid work is helping to build Britain’s trading partners of the future, creating real alternatives to mass migration, and enhancing our security, while simultaneously ensuring we abide by our moral responsibility to meet the immediate humanitarian needs of some of the poorest people on earth. This is the future of aid, delivering value for money for the taxpayer,” Theresa May said.