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British Prime Minister Theresa May to pledge Africa investment boost after Brexit

theresa may and cyril ramaphosa

Theresa May is to announce plans to boost Britain’s investment in Africa after Brexit, during her first trip to the continent as prime minister.

At a speech later, Mrs May will say she is “unashamed” about ensuring Britain also benefits from its aid spending.

And speaking on her way to Cape Town, she played down warnings from the chancellor about the economic damage a no-deal Brexit could cause.

She will also visit Nigeria and Kenya during the three-day trade mission.

The trip – which will see Mrs May meet the presidents of all three countries – aims to deepen economic and trade ties with growing African economies ahead of Britain leaving the EU in 2019.

Arriving in South Africa on Tuesday morning, Mrs May is expected to say she wants the UK to overtake the US to become the G7’s biggest investor in Africa by 2022.

She will announce an “ambitious new approach” to the UK’s aid spending in Africa, by using it to help British private sector companies invest on the continent.

Private sector investment is key to driving growth and “unleashing the entrepreneurial spirit” in Africa, she will say.

Mrs May is also expected to say that creating jobs on the continent – where many countries have young populations – is “in the world’s interest”.

It is the best way to tackle extremism, instability and migration to Europe, Mrs May will claim, adding that otherwise the environmental and economic impacts will reach every corner of the world.

BBC political correspondent Ben Wright said like other European leaders the PM saw “huge economic potential to tap” in Africa and was keen to support economic stability in the region in order to “stem the flow of migration”.

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