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XINHUA NEWS SERVICE REPORTS FROM THE AFRICAN CONTINENT

 

British PM pledges to invest in Africa   

CAPE TOWN, (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May pledged on Tuesday that her country will become the G7’s biggest investor in Africa by 2022.

The United Kingdom (UK) will use its development budget to not only relieve poverty, but to create a sustainable investment environment for British businesses in Africa, May told guests of the British High Commission in Cape Town.

May was on a working visit to South Africa, the first leg of her first three-nation tour of the African continent. She will meet with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa later Tuesday.

May said the UK will invest up to £4bn (about 5.2 billion U.S. dollars) in Africa, with a special focus on creating jobs for young people.

With 60-percent of Africans under the age of 25, the young population could enrich the world economy, but needed to be properly harnessed, she said.

“Africa will have to create 18 million new jobs to keep pace with its rapidly growing populations,” May said.

It’s in the world’s interest to see that those jobs are created, she added.

“If we fail to do so, the economic and environmental impact will soon reach every corner of the world,” May warned.

The Prime Minister also voiced support for South Africa’s controversial land reform, characterized by land expropriation without compensation.

The UK supports land reform that is legal and transparent and generated through a democratic process, May said.

South Africa’s Parliament is currently in a process to amend the Constitution to cater for land expropriation without compensation. The move has met with opposition. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump added his voice to the chorus of opposition.

South Africa’s approach to land reform could potentially unlock further investment opportunities in Africa, May said.

May said she and Ramaphosa discussed the land reform during his visit to Britain earlier this year and will discuss it with him during her visit.

Ramaphosa has pledged to pursue the land reform in a legal way that will not hamper agriculture production and food security.

May welcomed the comments that Ramaphosa has already made, bearing in mind the economic and social aspects of it.

“I think he’s made some comments that it won’t be a smash and grab approach. I think there’s an opportunity to unlock investment,” May said.

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May visits Africa to forge trade ties for post-Brexit Britain 

LONDON, (Xinhua) -- British Prime Minister Theresa May will fly to sub-Saharan Africa late Monday for the first time in order to forge new trade links for post-Brexit Britain.

May becomes the first British leader to visit sub-Saharan Africa in five years, making a three-day trip that includes meetings with the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

The prime minister will bring a trade delegation with her in an attempt to boost Britain’s post-Brexit export prospects, although her visit comes at a time when the British government has been accused of a paying insufficient attention to the region.

The last time a British prime minister visited sub-Saharan Africa was in December 2013 when David Cameron attended Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

May has never visited sub-Saharan Africa. Her only previous trip to the continent was a visit to Tunisia in 2015 in the aftermath of the Sousse hotel terror attack.

Speaking ahead of her flight to South Africa on Monday evening, the prime minister said, “Africa stands right on the cusp of playing a transformative role in the global economy” and that “a more prosperous, growing and trading Africa is in all of our interests.”

             

 

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