The UK is on a drive to forge new partnerships in East Africa – and a recent visit by foreign secretary Dominic Raab underscores the country’s intentions.
His itinerary included Kenya, Sudan and Ethiopia where he discussed shared challenges including Covid-19, security and climate change.
“We are committed to bringing the best of British expertise to the region, defusing tensions, doing business with integrity and forging strong partnerships on health, climate and other global challenges.”
His trip comes a year after the UK’s Africa Investment Summit.
Starting in Kenya, he discussed further opportunities to boost the UK-Kenya trade partnership – worth £1.4 billion annually - following the signing of one of the UK’s first trade agreements in Africa in December.
During a visit to KEMRI Laboratory in Nairobi, the foreign secretary heard how Kenyan and British scientists had been working together to develop the Oxford Astra-Zeneca vaccine.
On the first visit to Sudan by a British foreign secretary in over a decade, he reasserted the UK’s commitment to Sudan’s democratic transition and confirmed a contribution of £40 million of UK funding to the Sudan family support programme - helping Sudanese communities while critical economic reforms are implemented.
He said the UK was ready to provide a £330m bridging loan to clear arrears to the African Development Bank if Sudan stayed on track with its economic reforms agreed with the IMF, and the boards of the IMF and World Bank approved similar arrears clearance packages.
In Ethiopia, the foreign secretary visited a World Food Programme warehouse, central to distributing humanitarian aid such as food and sanitation supplies to those displaced by the crisis in Tigray. The UK is providing £11.4 million of humanitarian support – with money for healthcare and clean water, as well as shelter, nutrition kits and protection for children. This is in addition to a £94-million package to support Ethiopia’s response to the triple threats of Covid-19, climate change and locusts, which are having a devastating impact on the country.