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Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May meets the Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borissov, at 10 Downing Street in London, December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville - RC1EEE873F60

British Prime Minister Theresa May is to visit Nigeria, South Africa and Kenya from Monday for the first time in order to forge new trade links for post-Brexit Britain.

Ms May becomes the first British leader to visit sub-Saharan Africa in five years, making a three-day trip that includes meetings with the presidents of South Africa, Nigeria and Kenya.

She is one of the two top Western leaders the Nigerian leader will host within three days.

For her visit, the British prime minister will bring a trade delegation with her in an attempt to boost Britain’s post-Brexit export prospects, although her visit comes at a time when the British government has been accused of a paying insufficient attention to the region.

Speaking ahead of her flight to South Africa on Monday evening, the prime minister said, “Africa stands right on the cusp of playing a transformative role in the global economy” and that “a more prosperous, growing and trading Africa is in all of our interests.”

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Ms May will become the first British leader in five years to visit sub-Saharan Africa.

The prime minister will bring a trade delegation with her on a chartered RAF Voyager in an attempt to boost Britain’s post-Brexit export prospects, although she comes at a time when the government has been accused of a paying insufficient attention to the region.

The last time a British prime minister visited sub-Saharan Africa was in December 2013 when David Cameron attended Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

He had intended to return in the summer of 2016 in the final days of his premiership but the planned visit was abandoned when May took over as Conservative leader earlier than anticipated.

May has never visited sub-Saharan Africa. Her only previous trip to the continent was a visit to Tunisia in 2015 in the aftermath of the Sousse hotel terror attack.

Speaking ahead of her flight to South Africa on Monday evening, the prime minister said: “Africa stands right on the cusp of playing a transformative role in the global economy” and that “a more prosperous, growing and trading Africa is in all of our interests”.

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