Tuesday, July 19, 2011

British PM pushes trade in Nigeria, but scandal looms

Captial FM (Kenya, AFP)
18 July 2011

LAGOS, Jul 19 – British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Nigeria on Tuesday, pushing a message of trade and democracy before making an early return home to deal with the spiralling phone hacking crisis.

After talks with President Jacob Zuma in South Africa on Monday, Cameron flew in to Lagos at the head of a business delegation to call on Africans to use trade, aid and political reform to make the most of “Africa’s moment”.

The prime minister has cut short his day-visit to Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, to return home and deal with the phone hacking crisis, which has spiralled since he left London on Sunday afternoon with the resignations of two top policemen.

Despite the turmoil dominating the headlines at home, Cameron will continue his schedule as planned Tuesday morning, with a speech to university students, a trip to a vaccination clinic and talks with President Goodluck Jonathan.

In his speech, he will defend Britain’s decision to spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on aid from 2013, and in particular its efforts to help those suffering from the drought in the Horn of Africa.

But he will argue that the fast-growing economies in Africa, coupled with an increasing shift towards democratic governments, presents a huge opportunity for the continent to stop relying on handouts.

“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,” he will tell students at the Pan African University in Lagos.

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