CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA AND ABUJA, NIGERIA (UK POOL / REUTERS) – Britain’s Theresa May is on a charm offensive in South Africa.
May plans to repurpose the UK’s international aid budget – around $18 billion last year – to help British companies invest in Africa.
UK PRIME MINISTER, THERESA MAY,
“I can today announce a new ambition – by 2022, I want the UK to be the G7’s number one investor in Africa. With Britain’s private sector companies taking the lead, in investing the billions that will see African economies growing by trillions.”
But it’s not an easy sell.
May’s come under fire by lawmakers back home who say the budget is too high.
They want the money to be spent elsewhere or in Britain.
And that’s not the only challenge.
The UK will also have to compete with other major players on the continent – not least China, which has a rapidly growing footprint – and France, which maintains close relations with its former colonies.
And for now, it’s uncertain who’ll be calling the tune.