- The Minister for Africa traveled to Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia to deepen partnerships in trade, education and health, and discuss solutions to regional challenges, including conflict and drought
- Vicky Ford announced £17million in UK aid to respond to drought across the region and one million COVID-19 vaccines
- The Minister also announced new investments in East Africa and attended the regional launch of British International Investment (BII), where she announced a £37 million investment in Equity Bank of Kenya.
- In Ethiopia, she met Prime Minister Abiy to discuss ways to peacefully end the conflict in northern Ethiopia and UK support for post-conflict recovery.
Africa Minister Vicky Ford visited three East African countries, focusing on supporting drought-affected communities and building strong economic partnerships.
Africa Minister Vicky Ford MP said:
The UK is deepening its ties with partners across East Africa.
As the region grapples with one of the worst droughts on record, the UK is delivering lifesaving food aid to vulnerable communities in Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia and leading the global effort to support countries on the frontline of climate change.
“British International Investment’s work across East Africa will provide honest and reliable funding, drive growth and create jobs in the UK and the region.
I am glad that efforts are being made to restore peace in northern Ethiopia, where the conflict has caused great suffering to millions of people. The UK stands ready to support peace efforts.
And we are working with our partners in East Africa to address some of the key challenges facing the region today: security and stability; serious humanitarian crises; bring more girls to school; and increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines.
While in Kenya, the Minister announced UK funding of £17 million to support nearly one million people in East Africa affected by extreme weather events caused by climate change.
In Nairobi, the Minister hosted an East Africa launch of the new British International Investment (BII) at an event alongside Cabinet Secretary for Finance Ukur Yatani and a host of business leaders . BII confirmed a new £37m investment in Equity Bank to drive the growth of small businesses in Kenya at the event.
The Minister also announced that the UK would provide analysis and expert advice on how to boost green manufacturing jobs in Kenya (worth £400,000) and confirmed that the company will British engineering Atkins had been appointed to design the new Nairobi Central Station, a landmark regeneration project. Nairobi’s central business district.
In Uganda, the Minister visited Onwards and Upwards School in Wakiso District, where she met with students who spoke about the impact two years of school closures have had on them and their aspirations for the future. to come up.
The Minister also saw first-hand collaboration between the UK and Uganda at the Uganda Virus Research Institute, where our two countries have collaborated on HIV, Ebola and more recently Covid-19.
Ford has announced a new agreement with the Ugandan government for the UK to donate an additional one million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the coming months, following 300,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine donated last year.
UVRI’s links with the UK have existed since its founding in 1936 and UVRI now receives funding from the UK Government through the Medical Research Council and the UK Research Institute.
While in Ethiopia, Minister Ford met with Prime Minister Abiy and Minister of State Redwan to call for peace in the north and for the government to commit to the African Union-led mediation efforts and expresses the UK’s willingness to support a peace process.
To address some of the immediate needs, the Minister has announced new health and education support for people living in conflict-affected areas (worth £5m), which will see 30 000 children who have been forced out of school by conflict in the classroom.
The Minister also announced additional funding of £4.5 million, which will go to local women’s organizations in Tigray to provide vital support to survivors of gender-based violence, peacebuilding work in the Somali region and capacity building of the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission.
Minister Ford also met with Finance Minister Shide to discuss UK support for opening the Ethiopian economy to private investment in low-carbon infrastructure.