LONDON, UK, November 26, 2021 / APO Group / –
On the first visit by UK ministers since 2019, the Minister for Africa opened the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea conference to reiterate the importance of keeping trade routes flowing freely in West Africa and combating piracy.
In her speech, the minister pledged to be a strong advocate for business and trade, saying anti-piracy efforts in the region have been a key part of the UK G7 presidency.
On the day the FCDO announced the launch of British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, the Minister for Africa visited the Port of Dakar to see the transformative impact UK investment will have in Senegal and beyond.
Earlier this year, CDC (to be renamed BII in April 2022) committed to investing an initial $ 320 million in ports and logistics infrastructure in Africa, with another $ 400 million over several years, in partnership with DP World.
The UK aims to mobilize £ 8bn of funding a year by 2025 for Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. We are expanding our financial offering to like-minded partners around the world to help them grow their economies sustainably and invest in quality and reliable infrastructure, driving security and prosperity.
The Minister for Africa, Vicky Ford, MP, said:
“The UK is committed to deepening our security and economic partnerships with Senegal and West African nations to protect and expand vital free trade routes in the region.” We are working closely with like-minded partners, strengthening security ties to build a network of freedom in the region and combat piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. We have put this issue at the center of our G7 Presidency, and HMS Trent’s patrol missions are playing a crucial role in deterring attacks on maritime trade. “We are also providing an honest and reliable investment in Senegal that will drive growth and create jobs in both the UK and Senegal. I saw it first hand when I visited the port of Dakar, which will be transformed by UK investment.”
In Dakar, he spoke to UK personnel aboard HMS Trent, which was conducting maritime security work with the Senegalese Navy ahead of the G7 ++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea conference and observed joint training between the Royal Marines and the Senegalese marine forces.
Armed Forces Minister James Heappey said:
“I am incredibly proud of the work our staff are doing in West Africa to help promote stability and security in the region, from our troops protecting civilians with the UN in the deserts of Mali to our sailors and Marines to aboard HMS Trent helping our allies to defend maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea. “They are demonstrating how Global Britain is doing its part, side by side with our partners around the world to address shared challenges and uphold our values.” .
Minister Ford also visited a women’s health clinic to see how aid from the UK has helped women access contraception and family planning to help them make decisions about their lives.
Minister Ford also visited the Institut Pasteur in Dakar to see the Institute’s impressive work, supported by the UK, in manufacturing rapid COVID-19 diagnostic tests and developing tests for Ebola and Marburg.
He also saw first-hand the work the British Council is doing on its landmark English Connects program that bridges the gap between the UK and Africa’s future generation of leaders.
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