May to embark on maiden sub-Saharan Africa visit

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London, Aug 27 (IANS) UK Prime Minister Theresa May will embark on her maiden trip to the sub-Saharan Africa this week, making her the first British leader in five years to visit the region.

During her three-day trip this week, May will meet the Presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya, reports the Guardian.

The Prime Minister will be accompanied by a trade delegation in an attempt to boost Britain’s post-Brexit export prospects, although she comes at a time when the government has been accused of a paying insufficient attention to the region, informed sources said on Sunday.

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

He had intended to return in the summer of 2016 in the final days of his premiership but the planned visit was abandoned when May took over his post.

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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 Sunday evening, May 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”.

May will arrive in Cape Town on Tuesday for a bilateral meeting with the South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa.

She will then meet the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja before flying to Nairobi for a bilateral with his Kenyan counterpart, Uhuru Kenyatta.

It will be the first visit to Kenya by a British Prime Minister for 30 years.

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–IANS

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