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Minister for Africa and Armed Forces Minister travel to Senegal to strengthen economic and security ties in West Africa

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Ministry of Defence

Minister for Africa Vicky Ford and Armed Forces Minister James Heappey recentky travelled to Senegal to strengthen economic and security ties between the two countries.

In the first visit by UK ministers since 2019, the Africa Minister opened the Friends of the Gulf of Guinea conference to reiterate the importance of keeping trade routes flowing freely in West Africa and combating piracy.

In her speech, the Minister committed to being a fierce champion of enterprise and trade and said counter-piracy efforts in the region have been a key part the UK’s G7 Presidency.

On the day the FCDO announced the launch of British International Investment (BII), the UK’s development finance institution, the Africa Minister visited the Port of Dakar to see the transformative impact UK investment will have in Senegal and beyond.

Earlier this year, CDC (to be rebranded as BII in April 2022) committed to invest an initial $320 million in ports and logistics infrastructure across Africa, with a further $400 million over several years, in partnership with DP World.

The planned expansion of port facilities in Dakar as part of this announcement will be Senegal’s largest ever onshore foreign direct investment and will help to drive free trade and economic growth.

The UK aims to mobilise £8 billion of financing a year by 2025 for Africa, the Caribbean and Asia. We are scaling up our finance offer to like-minded partners around the world to support them to grow their economies sustainably and invest in quality, reliable infrastructure, boosting security and prosperity.

Minister for Africa Vicky Ford MP, recently â€‹said:

The UK is committed to deepening our economic and security partnerships with Senegal and nations across West Africa to protect and expand vital free trade routes in the region.

We are working closely with like-minded partners, strengthening security ties to build a network of liberty in the region and tackle piracy in the Gulf of Guinea. We have put this issue at the heart of our G7 Presidency, and HMS Trent’s patrol missions are playing a crucial role in deterring attacks on maritime trade.

We are also providing honest and reliable investment in Senegal which will drive growth and create jobs in both the UK and Senegal. I saw this first hand when I visited the Port of Dakar, which will be transformed by UK investment.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey arrived in Senegal from Mali, where he met UK troops protecting civilians under the peacekeeping mission.

In Dakar, he spoke with UK personnel on board HMS Trent, which was conducting maritime security work with the Senegalese Navy ahead of the G7++ Friends of the Gulf of Guinea conference and watched joint training between the Royal Marines and Senegal’s marine forces.

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey, recently said:

I am incredibly proud of the work our personnel are doing in West Africa to help promote stability and security in the region, from our troops protecting civilians with the UN in the deserts of Mali to our sailors and marines on board HMS Trent helping our allies to uphold maritime security in the Gulf of Guinea.

They are demonstrating how Global Britain is out there doing its bit, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our partners around the world to tackle shared challenges and defend our values.

Minister Ford also visited a women’s health clinic to see how UK aid has helped women access contraception and family planning to help give them choices over their lives.

Minister Ford also visited Institut Pasteur de Dakar to see the Institute’s impressive work, supported by the UK, in manufacturing COVID-19 rapid diagnostic tests and developing tests for Ebola and Marburg.

She also saw first-hand the work that the British Council is doing in their landmark English Connects programme that builds a bridge between the UK and Africa’s future generation of leaders.

Notes to Editors:

  • In the G7 Communique signed at this year’s summit in Cornwall, leaders welcomed progress made by the states bordering the Gulf of Guinea but called for greater action to tackle the root causes of piracy.
  • By 2035, the expanded Port of Dakar is forecast to enable trade equivalent to 18% of GDP and 36% of national trade, supporting 2.3 million jobs.

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Original article link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/minister-for-africa-and-armed-forces-minister-travel-to-senegal-to-strengthen-economic-and-security-ties-in-west-africa

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