I am incredibly honoured to be continuing as a UK Foreign Office Minister and very pleased to take on responsibility for our work in Africa.
The economic potential of Africa is vast with one third of all African economies expected to grow by 5 % or more this year. With our diplomatic network of 36 African posts, 19 British Council offices and 16 DFID offices, the UK remains well placed to work with Africa to maximise this economic potential and the opportunities for prosperity it offers. Given that 1 in 3 people in Africa are aged between 10 and 24, ensuring they have hope for the future is also vital.
In order to boost Africa’s economies it is also crucial to improve stability and security across the continent, particularly in East Africa. We will continue to work with the African Union (AU) and through our role on the UN Security Council (UNSC) on these important issues. For example, this has included working with France and the US on a joint approach to tackling the threats from Boko Haram in Nigeria, dealing with the effects of the Ebola outbreak and helping to improve security in Somalia.
The UK has strong and enduring links with Africa and I want to ensure African people know that this international cooperation and our engagement with the continent will continue even once the UK is outside the EU.