Business leaders to accompany UK Prime Minister in first visit to Africa
By Rolex Owino
Prime Minister Theresa May will make a three-nation visit to Africa this week, her first to the continent – since becoming the British leader in 2016, aimed at boosting post-Brexit trade ties.
May, joined by several ministers and 29 business representatives from various industries, will visit South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya – during the three-day trip, Downing Street recently conveyed (August, 2018).
She will be the first British prime minister to set foot in Kenya, since Margaret Thatcher in 1988.
“As we prepare to leave the European Union, now is the time for the UK to deepen and strengthen its global partnerships,” May said in a statement.
“Africa stands right on the cusp of playing a transformative role in the global economy,” she added.
“As longstanding partners this trip is a unique opportunity at a unique time for the UK to set out our ambition to work even closer together.”
The delegation will first visit Cape Town, where May will meet South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as well as business leaders and young leaders.
She will use a speech on the opening day to set out how Britain can bolster its partnership with Africa, “particularly by bringing the transformative power of private sector trade and investment from the UK,” her office said.
May will present Ramaphosa with the bell from the troopship Mendi, which sank in the English Channel in 1917, drowning more than 600, mainly South African troops set to join the Allied forces fighting in World War I.
It was the worst maritime disaster in the African country’s history, and has become a symbol of its WWI remembrance.
The prime minister is also expected to visit Robben Island, where former president Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for decades to commemorate the 100th anniversary of his birth.
May will thereafter head to Nigeria, for meetings with President Muhammadu Buhari, in the capital, Abuja.
Upon concluding her Nigerian visit, she will proceed to meet Kenya’s President, Uhuru Kenyatta, shortly after his return from meeting US President Donald Trump, in Washington.
Among those joining May are representatives of the London Stock Exchange, the Scotch Whisky Association and manufacturing firm JCB.
Source: African Strategic-Ventures (ASV) & Capitalfm.