Monday August 27, 2018
Theresa May is preparing to visit Africa for the first time since becoming prime minister in 2016.
May will fly to South Africa on Tuesday before travelling to Nigeria
and Kenya as part of a trade mission aimed at boosting post-Brexit
The prime minister said the trip would be a "unique opportunity at a unique time for the UK".
She added the UK wanted to "deepen and strengthen its global partnerships" as it prepared to leave the EU in 2019.
Mrs May will be accompanied to the three countries - all of them Commonwealth countries - by a 29-strong business delegation.Security
issues will also feature on her agenda and she is expected to discuss
the threat of Boko Haram in Nigeria, and the role of British troops
based in Kenya who are helping countries fight al-Shabab militants in
Somalia.The PM's diary
Mrs May will fly into Cape Town where she will meet young people,
before delivering a keynote speech on trade and how UK private sector
investment can be brought into Africa.
a bilateral meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, she
is expected to visit Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
Mrs May intends to meet Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari in the
capital Abuja before meeting victims of modern slavery in Lagos.
In Kenya, Mrs May will meet president Uhuru Kenyatta before visiting
British troops and a business school. A state dinner hosted by Mr
Kenyatta will conclude the trip.
Mrs May's visit to Nairobi will mark the first by a UK prime minister to Kenya since Margaret Thatcher in 1988.
It is also the first to Sub-Saharan Africa by a British leader since David Cameron in 2013 for Mr Mandela's memorial service.
May said a "prosperous, growing and trading Africa" was "in all of our
interests", adding the continent's "incredible potential will only be
realised through a concerted partnership between governments, global
institutions and business".
A Downing Street spokeswoman added:
"The PM will use the visit to announce further support to tackle
instability across the region, because nations can't prosper without
During her time in South Africa, Mrs May is also due to present a World War One relic - linked to one of the worst maritime disasters in English waters - to Mr Ramaphosa.
SS Mendi sank off the Isle of Wight in 1917 killing more than 600 black
South Africans en route to the Western Front to support British troops.
ship's bell was given to BBC reporter Steve Humphrey in 2017 in a
plastic bag at Swanage Pier, Dorset, after an anonymous phone call - and
will now be handed back by Mrs May.