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Nigeria, Kenya, others to benefit from UK’s £14 billion aid budget

22 Jul 2019, 05:22 pm
Financial Nigeria
Nigeria, Kenya, others to benefit from UK’s £14 billion aid budget

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The African countries will also gain from the UK’s expertise on trade and attracting foreign investment.

Liam Fox, British Secretary of Trade

The British government is set to give part of its £14 billion official aid budget for the Department for International Trade (DIT) to help developing countries, including Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya. The African countries will also gain from the United Kingdom’s expertise on trade deals and attracting foreign investment.

The Secretary of Trade, Liam Fox, who disclosed this on Monday in an interview with the BBC, said the DIT fund is earmarked as the Official Development Assistance (ODA) fund and will count towards the government’s target of spending 0.7 per cent of national income on overseas aid. Ethiopia, Colombia, Peru, Indonesia and Bangladesh are the other countries targeted by the ODA fund.

“We want to bring development and trade closer together,” Fox said. “Rather than having developing countries dependent on the largesse of rich countries, we want them to be able to get sustainable development and trade their way out of poverty. One of the ways we can do that is to give them the skills that will attract investment into their country…to develop some of those attributes that helped us get investment into the U.K. and help them get investment on a stable basis.”

Fox noted that the fund is not a tied aid – a foreign aid that must be spent in the donor country or in a group of selected countries. The Secretary of Trade said for the aid to be beneficial to the U.K., it has to be beneficial to the recipient country itself.

He added that the countries selected to benefit from the ODA fund are potential candidates for post-Brexit free trade agreements. “You have to remember that trade, free trade is the way we have taken a billion people out of poverty in a generation globally, one of the greatest achievements in our history. We need to make sure that carries on,” Fox told BBC.

The next Prime Minister of Britain to take over from Theresa May, who announced her resignation in May, will be announced on Tuesday. Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are the major contenders. The next PM will lead the final discussions on Brexit.

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