Theresa May will say she is “unashamed” to use British aid in Africa to promote trading links after Brexit.
The prime minister begins a three-day tour of Africa today in Cape Town, South Africa, before travelling to Nigeria and Kenya later in the week.
In a mercantilist pitch Mrs May will set the “ambition” to make the UK the biggest G7 investor in Africa by 2022. The formulation avoids competing with China, which dwarfs all other investors.
The prime minister says that fostering “healthy” African economies and the jobs they create is a matter of national interest. Failure will only increase migration flows and undermine faith in capitalism, she argues, saying that Britain will increasingly use aid cash to foster private enterprise.
“I am unashamed about the need to ensure that our aid programme works for the UK. So today I am committing that our development spending will not only combat extreme poverty, but at the same time tackle global challenges and support our own national interest. This will ensure that our investment in aid benefits us all, and is fully aligned with our wider national security priorities,” she says.