FROM COLONIZER TO INVESTOR? THE STORY OF BRITAIN IN AFRICA


Kenya’s first President Jomo Kenyatta once said, “when the missionaries arrived, we had the land and the missionaries had the Bible.
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    Written by: Meshack Masibo
    In August, enthusiastic but embattled British Premier, Theresa May paid her first visit to Africa as British Prime Minister, the first substantive visit to Africa by any British PM since 2011. This is good news, and was a golden opportunity to reset Britain’s relations with the continent. Arriving in South Africa, Mrs. May said she wanted the UK to overtake the US to become the G7’s biggest investor in Africa by 2022.
    She promised to continue existing economic links based on the UK’s EU membership – including an EU-wide partnership with the Southern African Customs Union and Mozambique – after Brexit next year. Promising an extra £4bn in direct UK government investment – which she expects to be matched by the private sector – she said while the UK could not match the “economic might” of some foreign investors – such as China or the US – it offered long-term opportunities of the “highest quality and breadth”.
    She defended the UK’s aid spending in Africa, a target of criticism from some Tory MPs, saying it had “worked” to give millions of children and women an education and immunize millions against deadly diseases. But she said she was “unashamed” that it had to work in the UK’s own interest and pledged a new approach in future, focusing on helping British private sector companies invest in fast-growing countries like Cote D’Ivoire and Senegal while “bolstering states under threat” from Islamist extremism such as Chad, Mali and Niger.
    UK direct investment in Africa was £42.7bn in 2016, compared with……Subscribe to Readmore………

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