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Foreign Secretary's visit to Africa: April to May 2019

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt visited Senegal, Ghana, Nigeria, Ethiopia and Kenya to make the case for new UK partnerships across Africa.

Jeremy Hunt shakes hands with the Moses Anibaba, the British Council’s Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Foreign Secretary arrives in Senegal.

Jeremy Hunt championed a new UK diplomatic push across the continent of Africa, including French-speaking countries where the UK has traditionally played a smaller role. This page provides an overview of the visit with links to the main announcements.

View more about the Foreign Secretary’s Africa visit and @foreignoffice for updates during the visit.

Kenya

On Friday 3 May the Foreign Secretary listened to Kenyan entrepreneurs pitching for new business ideas as part of a UK aid funded programme. Winners can access up to £100,000 each in grant funding and technical assistance to help them scale up.

Jeremy Hunt with some of the winners of the Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund Business Innovation Challenge 2019.
Jeremy Hunt with some of the winners of the Kenya Catalytic Jobs Fund Business Innovation Challenge 2019.

The Foreign Secretary welcomed £64 million of UK funding for Kenyan businesses that includes:

  • £52 million for a solar power plant
  • £11 million by British business De La Rue
  • £1.4 million support for creative industries

Friday was also World Press Freedom Day 2019, and the Foreign Secretary visited the BBC Africa team and their new bureau in Nairobi.

Ethiopia

The Foreign Secretary visited Ethiopia on Thursday 2 May, where he spoke at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebrations in Addis Ababa.

The Foreign Secretary speaking at the UNESCO World Press Freedom Day celebrations

The Foreign Secretary announced £15.5 million in UK aid to help Ethiopia run transparent, free and fair elections. He also announced a new Chevening Africa Media Freedom Fellowship programme, for 60 African journalists to gain experience with leading UK media organisations.

Nigeria

The Foreign Secretary arrived in Nigeria on Tuesday 30 April for the inaugural meeting of the UK/Nigeria Economic Development Forum.

Jeremy Hunt watches representatives of UK company Bekoz and Nigerial company Interswitch GRP sign a £56 million deal.
Jeremy Hunt watches representatives of UK company Bekoz and Nigerial company Interswitch GRP sign a £56 million deal.

Fighting extremism

On Wednesday 1 May the Foreign Secretary visited the World Food Programme warehouse in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria. He spoke to people providing life-saving support to millions who have fled their homes following terrorist attacks.

He also met with the UK Military Liaison and Support Team which is working with the Nigerian military. The UK remains committed to supporting the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa.

Learn more about how the UK is helping Nigeria to fight extremism.

The Foreign Secretary meeting British and Nigerian soldiers.
The Foreign Secretary meeting British and Nigerian soldiers working together to help combat Boko Haram.

Climate change

Climate change could have a catastrophic impact on hundreds of millions of people across Nigeria, the Sahel, and more widely across Africa, hitting the poorest and most vulnerable the hardest. Jeremy Hunt announced nearly £153 million funding for new UK aid programmes to help farmers across Africa and South Asia adapt to the effects of climate change and boost climate resilience in Ethiopia.

Ghana

The Foreign Secretary visited Ghana on Tuesday 30 April, where he welcomed new business deals with British companies. In one such deal, the Ghanaian government has approved a £26 million agreement with British business Aqua Africa to reduce water poverty in the country.

Jeremy Hunt speaking with the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey
Jeremy Hunt speaking with the Ghanaian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.

Senegal

On Monday 29 April the Foreign Secretary saw how the Royal Navy is training Senegal’s naval special forces to help protect the country’s new offshore oil and gas installations.

The UK will fund a new £4 million English language programme in French and Portuguese speaking countries across Africa, and Jeremy Hunt launched the ‘English Connects’ programme at the Université Virtuelle du Sénégal in Dakar. Over the next 2 years, it will support the teaching and learning of English in sub-Saharan Africa countries where English is not widely spoken.

Jeremy Hunt speaking to a large audience at the launch of English Connects
The Foreign Secretary speaking at the launch of English Connects.
Published 30 April 2019
Last updated 3 May 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added the press release for the Foreign Secretary's Kenya visit.
  2. Updated with Foreign Secretary's announcement on media freedom
  3. Updated with the press release on fighting extremism in north-east Nigeria
  4. Updated with the Foreign Secretary's announcement on climate change.
  5. First published.