UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Development Dominic Raab visited Kenya, Sudan, and Ethiopia on January 20-22, 2021, and signed a series of new agreements on healthcare and the climate crisis, alongside discussions of ongoing economic and security issues in the region.
In Kenya, Raab held meetings with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, Foreign Minister Raychelle Omamo, Health Minister Mutahi Kagwe, and Defense Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma. The meetings aimed to bolster UK-Kenya trade and also resulted in the announcement of £48 million (US$62 million) in new UK climate initiatives for Kenya and a new health partnership to maximize knowledge-sharing between health practitioners in the UK and Kenya. Raab visited the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) Laboratory in the capital city of Nairobi to see how Kenyan and British scientists have worked together to develop the Oxford AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Raab also met with soldiers attending the UK-supported Humanitarian Peace Support School to hear about joint counter-terrorism efforts.
In Sudan, Raab met with Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, Foreign Minister Omer Gamereldin, and the Chair of the Sovereign Council, Lt. Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan. Raab confirmed the UK’s commitment to supporting Sudan’s democratic transition and noted that the UK stood ready to provide a £330 million (US$429 million) bridging loan to clear the country's arrears to the African Development Bank if Sudan continues to abide by the economic reforms agreed by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank. Raab also confirmed that the UK will provide £40 million (US$52 million) to the Sudan Family Support Programme.
In Ethiopia, Raab visited a school with Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde to showcase the UK’s ongoing efforts to support girls' education in the country. He also spoke to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali on finding a solution to the rapidly escalating conflict in the Tigray region and enabling humanitarian support to the resulting crisis. Finally, Raab signed a climate partnership agreement with Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen for collaboration between the UK and Ethiopia ahead of the UK-hosted COP26 climate conference.
While in Sudan and Ethiopia, Raab toured World Food Programme (WFP) sites to see how UK development assistance is contributing to nutrition projects.
Press release - UK government