May wants Nigeria, U.K. to work together to achieve their common goals

Nigeria and the United Kingdom today signed bilateral agreements on Security and Defence Partnership, and trade development. The agreements were signed in the presence of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and British Prime Minister Theresa May, who visited the country.

May commenced a three-day visit to Africa on Tuesday when she visited South Africa. While in the country, the British Prime Minister said her country will invest in major projects in Africa, pledging £4 billion ($5.1 billion) in support for African markets.

Ahead of her visit, May had expressed Britain’s commitment to deepening relations with Africa, especially in the area of trade, as the country prepares to leave the European Union. The country has made it its post-Brexit goal to “strengthen […] global partnerships. “This week I am looking forward to discussing how we can do that alongside Africa to help deliver important investment and jobs as well as continue to work together to maintain stability and security,” May said in a statement.

“True partnerships are not about one party doing unto another, but states, governments, businesses and individuals working together in a responsible way to achieve common goals,” she added.

It is in this spirit that she announced planned investment in Africa to address the continent’s security challenges, tighten trade agreements and harness the “innovation and creativity” of Africa’s young people.

She leaves Abuja, the Nigerian capital where she held talks with President Buhari for Lagos, the country’s economic and innovation capital. While in Lagos, May is expected to announce the formation of a UK-Africa fintech partnership at a meeting with business leaders in the country. U.K., will through the partnership support African entrepreneurs.

May ends her three-state Africa tour with a visit to Kenya on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) has launched £70 million LINKS innovation programme which will create 100,000 new jobs and raise the income of more than 3 million people from northern Nigeria.

* Updated to include the last two paragraphs

Also published on Medium.