• Wednesday, July 24, 2024
businessday logo


How we’ll improve lives in Africa, UK— British foreign secretary

How we’ll improve lives in Africa, UK— British foreign secretary

By strengthening stability and security, we will improve lives in Africa and the United Kingdom simultaneously, says British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly.

Cleverly made this known during a business briefing as part of his activities in Nigeria, recently in Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Cleverly, who is currently in Nigeria, is on a three-country, four-day African tour that will also see him in Ghana and Zambia.

According to Cleverly, African countries will play a pivotal role in determining the future of the international order.

He said the UK’s approach in Africa would continue to be driven by the needs and perspectives of partners across the continent, be it development, security, sustainability or green and clean infrastructure.

“We are working shoulder to shoulder with our African partners and we will continue to do so.

“We want to work with African leaders in partnership to change our situation. We want and need better functioning international financial systems, we want and need dominant African representation on the UN Security Council.

“We can shape the future of the world in partnership with we African countries and that is because by 2050, two billion people will live in Africa, half of whom will be under 25.

“The shift in world power this represents has been around for some time, and it’s my goal as foreign secretary to ensure that our strategic approach reflects that.”

He stressed the UK’s desire for partnership on trade, investment, climate action and reform of the international order, adding that it would help reach the ambitious goals that had been set.

Cleverly said that there was limited control over the pace of geo-political change and that the ultimate effects of climate change could not be predicted with precision.

“What we do know is the power to set direction and to plan strategically, laying the foundations of resilience whilst working towards our mutual prosperity and security.

“That is why partnership is so important and why we will continue to support African countries through urgent crisis via our programs as we work in concert with organisations like the African Union and the Economic Community of West African States to enhance stability and security.”

Speaking in the recent military coup in Niger and Russia’s war against Ukraine, Cleverly said that the UK’s position was clear.

According to him, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, self determination and human rights must prevail alongside democracy, rule of law and freedom.

Read also: Bureau commences investigation into aircraft mishap in Lagos

“This is why we welcome the strong and principled stance that the AU and ECOWAS have taken on the defence of democratic values and constitutional order in Niger. These are all values that we cherish.

“Russia’s attack on Ukraine is an attack on our shared values, on the UN Charter and on international order.”
He said it was a world of rapidly increasing transnational threats, noting that climate change was an urgent and obvious example.

On his part, the international community needs strong multilateral institutions, particularly international financial institutions that represent the world as it is today economically, politically, and demographically.

He further said that Lagos represented Africa’s ever growing continent, its ever growing economic strength and the immense future potential of Nigeria.

“All around us, Lagos is buzzing with activity and innovation. Lagos is a global city of entrepreneurs and free market ventures.

“Through trade investments and the combined force of public investments and private capital, the UK wants to partner with Africa in reaching its full economic potential,” he said.

Cleverly, who also announced a 10 million pounds (13 million dollars) partnership for financing new infrastructure projects, said that the prosperity and stability of African countries would benefit the UK.