Bloomberg News

Cameron Urges U.K. Business to Seize Opportunity of Africa Trade

July 19, 2011

July 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will today warn British businesses that they will miss out on “one of the greatest economic opportunities on the planet” if they do not engage in trade and investment in Africa.

While the U.K. is delivering a 52 million-pound ($84 million) package of aid to the drought-stricken areas of Kenya, Somalia and Ethiopia, the hope for Africa’s future will come from its people’s driving economic growth and fostering the full implications of democracy, Cameron will say in a speech in Lagos, Nigeria, today.

“This can be Africa’s moment, Africa is transforming in a way no one thought possible 20 years ago, and suddenly a whole new future seems within reach,” Cameron will say, according to extracts of his speech released by his office

“ Aid, trade, democracy, these are the three things we need, these are the ways Africa will meet its moment of opportunity.” Six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa, Cameron will tell his audience, and, if the continent works with partners in the west to tackle war and disease, it can join Brazil, Indonesia and China in lifting millions out of poverty through private enterprise and trade.

An African Free Trade Area could lead to an increase in GDP of as much as $6 billion a year across the continent, the prime minister will say, adding that British businesses risk missing out if they do not seize the opportunity for trade and investment.

--Editors: John Simpson, Ben Livesey

To contact the reporter on this story: Thomas Penny in Lagos, Nigeria at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: James Hertling at

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