UK pledges £4bn to help Africa crack down on crime

28 Aug 18

The UK government has pledged £4bn worth of funding to Africa as it looks to deepen economic ties with the continent, the prime minister has announced.

Theresa May said the government's comittment should “pave the way” for the private sector to match fund this by at least £4bn to help grow African economies by “trillions”, during her speech in Cape Town, South Africa, today.

The UK prime minister explained aid spending in Africa - including the £4bn announced today - will undergo a “fundamental strategic shift”. 

It will now be prioritised on cracking down on illicit finance and organised crime including illegal immigration, modern slavery and trafficking in people, May told her audience. 

She said that both corruption and organised crime had “the potential to push development off course by undermining the rule of law and diverting money out of the economy”.

The United Nation Economic Commission for Africa recently warned that economic crime should be a priority for Africa.

On her first visit to Africa as prime minister, May said she is “unashamed about the need to ensure that our aid programme works for the UK”.

She added: “I am committing that our development spending will not only combat extreme poverty, but at the same time tackle global challenges and support our own national interest”.

May said that she aims to make the UK the G7’s number one investor in Africa, overtaking the United States by 2022.

CDC Group, the UK government’s development finance institution, will invest £3.5bn in African nations over the next four years, the prime minister also said. 

May added: “We will radically expand the UK government’s presence in Africa, opening new missions and bringing in trade experts, investment specialists, and other policy experts”.

As part of her three-day tour of Africa, Theresa May will visit South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya - nations she identified as “key partners” in achieving a closer economic and trade ties with the continent.

The prime minister stated that the continent’s total GDP could well double between 2015 and 2030, highlighting the benefits of UK investment.

May also said that the “new partnership” with Africa will support countries facing instability caused by terrorism in places like Mali, Chad and Niger.

The UK recently announced new humanitarian aid for 700,000 people in Sudan.

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