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Westminster Diary by Harriett Baldwin MP - Africa

17th October 2018

As well as being MP for West Worcestershire, I am also the UK Minister for Africa at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister of State at the Department of International Development. A bit of a mouthful! It’s a real privilege to visit many African countries and acknowledge the very strong bilateral relationships that the UK has with so many countries in Africa. I get to do a lot of dancing too, but fortunately it doesn’t make the News at Ten!

I joined the Prime Minister recently on her trip to Africa with business leaders, which marked a step change in the UK’s presence in Africa. We are opening new embassies and will soon have the largest diplomatic network in Africa of any European country.

As the UK exits the European Union, a truly Global Britain will invest in and work alongside African nations, with benefits for us and for them - including helping us all to achieve a safer, healthier, more resilient and prosperous world.

The Prime Minister’s central message focused on a renewed partnership between the UK and Africa, which will seek to maximise shared opportunities and tackle common challenges in a continent that is growing rapidly.

Africa’s emerging markets offer huge untapped potential to the UK. There is a massive shortage of investment, infrastructure and jobs in these markets, and the City of London is uniquely placed to help fill this gap.

We’re building mutually beneficial partnerships which are helping to stimulate long-term transformational growth and create good jobs for people in the world’s poorest countries, while also allowing UK investors to access the wealth of opportunity offered by African countries, eighteen of which are Commonwealth members.

Wherever I go in West Worcestershire, I discover links between constituents and African countries. Whether it’s businesses that import and export, schools where children have Connecting Classrooms, people who have served in our Armed Forces there, nurses who have worked there or farmers who share their expertise with farmers in Africa, it’s clear that the bonds are already strong. Strengthening them further for our mutual benefit is vital for our future.

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Harriett Baldwin
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