James Duddridge, British Minister for Africa, will attend the African Union Summit in Addis from 27-28th January.
The Minister will be focusing on peace, security and prosperity during his meetings at the AU Summit.
Mr Duddridge said:
“We have seen Africa rocked by conflict and terrorism for too long. Peace and security will be at the top of my agenda in all the meetings I have this week. This is an area where I hope the UK can make a real difference, from practical support to the countries currently battling Boko Haram to active peacekeeping with British forces deploying as UN troops to Somalia and South Sudan this year. Without security it is difficult for people and nations to thrive.
“An Africa that is peaceful and thriving is in all our interests. Economic development that brings prosperity is a subject that is close to my heart and one that I am keen to promote at every opportunity. It will soon be the case that there is more Foreign Direct Investment flowing into Africa from the UK than development assistance. That can only be a good thing. Ensuring business and the private sector can flourish, creating jobs and generating taxes, will benefit us all.
“In Africa today I see a continent of hope and opportunity, of creativity and drive. Together we are all working towards a common goal of a peaceful, prosperous and integrated Africa. The 26th AU Summit gives us the chance to bring that a step closer.”
Prior to his arrival to the summit, the Minister is visiting South Sudan to encourage progress in implementing the peace agreement. The UK has worked closely with regional bodies to help secure the current peace deal.
Ahead of arriving in South Sudan Mr Duddridge said: “There are a few places that better demonstrate the need for proactive and united regional, African Union and international, engagement more than Africa’s youngest country. More is now needed, especially from South Sudan’s leaders, to ensure the deal sticks and to begin to piece together a country that has been broken by conflict.”