Africans to gain from Theresa May's visit - Daily Nation
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Africans to gain from Theresa May's visit

Thursday August 30 2018

British Prime Minister Theresa May

British Prime Minister Theresa May addresses the media during a press conference at State House, Nairobi, on August 30, 2018. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NATION CORRESPONDENT
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British Prime Minister Theresa May's visit to Africa has elicited optimism among investors.

Ms May and Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta held bilateral talks, hoping to boost economic and security ties.

She arrived in Kenya after visiting South Africa on Tuesday and Nigeria on Wednesday.

Ms May's visit to Kenya is the second by a British Prime Minister since 1988 by Margaret Thatcher.

Her message across Africa has been the expansion of business frontiers and fortifying existing ones.

REMITTANCES

The Chief Executive Officer of money transfer firm Dahabshiil, Mr Abdirashid Duale, said among the beneficiaries of a stronger economic partnership between the United Kingdom and Africa will be the diaspora community, whose remittances have played a key role in the socioeconomic development of Africans.

"As an African-born British businessman, I am delighted that Theresa May is visiting Africa for the first time in her role as Prime Minister, at what is a pivotal moment in Britain’s economic future," Mr Duale said.

He added: "The UK is home to one of the largest and most influential African diaspora communities. My own life story of being a part of this community, and heading a network of businesses rooted in the continent, shows how the UK and Africa are becoming closer and closer. Britain and Africa need each other now more than ever."

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITIES
Mr Duale said that as the United Kingdom looks for new economic opportunities after Brexit (the imminent withdrawal of the UK from the European Union), Africa is one place it cannot afford to overlook.

"Africa’s abundance of untapped natural resources, its rising use of technology and its growing middle class who are hungry for the UK’s educational institutions offer real opportunities for UK businesses," he observed.

To realise these opportunities, he proposed the relaxation of financial and trade barriers.

"Witness the seismic changes under Prime Minister Abiy in Ethiopia, which is [forecast to be the fastest growing economy in Sub-Saharan Africa this year]; and in Kenya, whose President Uhuru Kenyatta signed a large infrastructure investment deal with the United States on Monday.

"We are keen for financial transactions to be easier, and for regulations and other issues to better reflect the current African reality and improve relations with those who comply."

TRADE RELATIONS

In her talks with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Cape Town, Ms May pushed for post-Brexit trade, investment and partnership.

And in Nigeria, she promised to help fortify its security forces so that the citizens may be prosperous.

Dahabshiil, established in the 1970s, has employed thousands of people across several African countries, the US, the UK, Europe and the Middle East.