New Minister for Africa starts in role (free content)

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The newly appointed minister of state for Africa James Duddridge has started in his new role, taking over from Andrew Stephenson who had held the position for less than a year.

Minister Duddridge has also been appointed parliamentary under secretary of state in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development (DFID).

His predecessor Stephenson has been appointed minister of state at the Department for Transport.

Stephenson had been minister of state for Africa since mid-2019, in a dual role that also saw him named minister of state for international development at DFID.

He had taken over the reins from Harriett Baldwin, who held the role for over a year, from 2018 to 2019.

Duddridge was most recently parliamentary under secretary of state at the Department for Exiting the European Union. He stepped into the role in 2019, after being minister for Asia and the Pacific for almost a year– from 2015 to 2016.

This comes as DFID continues to support plans to expand private investment into Africa, particularly through CDC.

CDC plans to invest approximately $2.6 billion (£2 billion) in African businesses in the two years up to 2022.

DFID committed £3.5 billion to CDC following the approval of the CDC Act 2017 – passed in 2017. The funds were earmarked for investment across Africa and Asia.

This raised the ceiling of the amount DFID can invest into CDC by £4.5 billion, to £6 billion.

The UK government was previously limited to investing up to £1.5 billion, through the CDC Act 1999. The £1.5 billion ceiling was reached in 2015.

This act also authorises the secretary of state for international development to further raise the limit up to £12 billion.

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