BRITAIN’S EXIT from the European Union (EU) which has come to be known as Brexit would not have as much adverse effect on the African continent as many people think.
British diplomat and politician Baroness Valerie Ann Amos made this known on Friday, March 22, in Accra during a public lecture organized by the Council On Foreign Relations Ghana.
The lecture was themed: “Does the retreat from multilateralism create new opportunities for the African continent?” and addressed the implications for Africa should Britain withdraw from the European Union (EU).
She admitted that Brexit will definitely have some impacts on development on the African continent “but I don’t think it’s much as people think.”
According to her, Britain has not been a first world power for a long time despite its permanent membership at the United Nations Security Council.
She indicated that Britain’s investment in defense and foreign policy priorities has declined in many years “and there has been recent attempts to address that.”
She added that “and its commitment to development has remained strong as a result of legislation underpinning to the commitment of 0.7% of GDP to be spent on development aid.”
However, she explained that “but there are constant calls within and outside government to change that commitment.”
According to the diplomat, Ghana has strong bilateral relation with Britain which will continue.
She explained that the trade relationship between both nations will remain broadly the same.
She indicated specifically that China has become the major trading partner of Ghana and no longer Britain.
According to her, from a less than $100 million trade volume between Ghana and China in the year 2000, trade volume between both nations had increased to $6.2 billion in 2017.
That, she said, Britain cannot compete with.
However, she said, African nations need to check their investment agreements with China which now has about 10,000 businesses on the continent and seem to be taking an interventionist approach on the development of the continent as compared to the Western World which she believed continue to play with rhetorics.
Meanwhile, she said Brexit would have implications for the EU.
Britain is scheduled to exit the EU by March 29, 2019 but its Prime Minister Theresa May has been appealing to EU leaders for extension.
Diplomat Ann Amos says Britain’s citizens feel their country has become a laughing stock on the international scene and that Britain’s leaders still did not know what it will mean for Britain exiting the EU.
BY Melvin Tarlue|Daily Guide Network