Foreign Relations: Africa

HM Treasury written question – answered on 2nd December 2015.

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Photo of Craig Whittaker Craig Whittaker Conservative, Calder Valley

To ask Mr Chancellor of the Exchequer, what steps he is taking to improve the UK's economic ties with developing African economies.

Photo of Harriett Baldwin Harriett Baldwin The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Supporting Africa’s economic development is central to the government’s international agenda. This is highlighted in the National Security Strategy and Strategic Defence and Security Review 2015 which states that:

Over the next five years, we aim to deepen the UK’s relationships with African countries significantly. To enable this, we will deliver a more strategic and coordinated government approach to Africa... We will continue to make substantial investments to promote greater economic growth and poverty reduction.

In parallel, the Department for International Development (DFID) has previously committed to spend around £1.8 billion of their budget on economic development by the end of the 2015/2016 fiscal year: almost double the level of two years ago. DFID is also working with business and new partners, including new partners in the UK, to support innovative and profitable solutions to Africa’s development challenges. For example, the recently launched Energy Access initiative aims to expand solar energy access across sub-Saharan Africa, by increasing investment in off-grid energy firms, promoting innovation and removing regulatory barriers.

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