Minister emphasizes the importance of UK working with Africa to grow economies, boost food security

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The UK Minister for Development and Africa will emphasize the importance of the UK working with African countries to grow economies and boost food security - on a two-day visit to Senegal, starting today (Tuesday 24 January).

Arriving in Dakar, Andrew Mitchell will hail the important relationship between the UK and Senegal, a country, with huge economic potential.

He will meet key Senegalese government figures on his visit, including current African Union Chair and Senegal President Macky Sall. He will also set out the UK's vision of a stronger partnership between the UK and Senegal that delivers mutual prosperity and security, and tackles global issues such as health and climate change. He will sign the first-ever Memorandum of Understanding between the UK and Senegal, a symbol of our growing partnership.

Mr Mitchell will see first-hand the impact of British investment in Senegal, including how UK-funded projects are supporting women and girls, and helping to build Senegal's vaccine production facilities to tackle the next pandemic.

Representing the UK at the Dakar 2 Feed Africa Summit, an African-led initiative, the Minister will listen to African leaders talk about the causes of rising food insecurity and hear their vision for accelerating agricultural transformation, with the aim of maximizing the UK's impact in alleviating food shortages across the continent. The UK is working with regional organizations like AGRA, Regional Economic Communities and the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) to help strengthen food trade in Africa.

Minister for Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said:

Many Brits know Senegal for its world-class football team. They may not know that our partnership with Senegal reaps benefits for people in both our countries, delivering economic growth and tackling common security and health threats. We hope to deepen this partnership over the long-term.

As a leading supporter of the African Development Bank I am delighted to participate in the Dakar 2: Feed Africa Summit on an issue that we all need to work together on.

With Russia's war in Ukraine exacerbating the already drastic impacts of regional conflict in Africa and climate change on food security, I also want to hear directly from Macky Sall and other African leaders about the issues the continent is facing and understand how the UK can further support African countries as we face those challenges, together."

Senegal is a leading stable and democratic country in the region, growing in significance and influence, and the UK hopes to build a closer partnership and greater trade and investment ties over the long-term.

Economic development is crucial to tackling challenges like food insecurity and climate change and on his visit Mr Mitchell will explore opportunities to expand UK investment into the country to make a real and lasting positive impact. The UK-Africa Investment Summit in 2020 announced 27 deals worth over £6.5bn from across Africa. It also announced £9bn worth of investment decisions.

During his visit, he will see the impact of such investment to date, including a $1.7bn partnership between British International Investment and DP World which features a new container port at Ndayane, Senegal's largest onshore investment. The port will enable the creation of over 20,000 new jobs and help unblock barriers to greater economic growth.

He will see the British Council's landmark English Connects program and visit the Women's Integrated Sexual Health Programme (WISH) clinic where our delivery partner Marie Stopes International is increasing access to voluntary family planning, reaching those most in need.

Andrew Mitchell will also visit Institut Pasteur de Dakar to hear about their plans to develop vaccines for Covid and other deadly diseases.



The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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