An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar and Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade Simon Coveney were joined by a number of government ministers today to launch ‘Global Ireland – Ireland’s Global Footprint to 2025’, their initiative to double the scope and impact of Ireland’s global footprint in the period to 2025.
The initiative represents the most ambitious renewal and expansion of Ireland’s international presence ever undertaken in terms of diplomacy, culture, business, overseas aid, tourism and trade.
When broken down into regional perspectives with one section focusing on Sub-Saharan Africa, Global Ireland promises a commitment to working in partnership with the governments and peoples of African nations as the continent continues to develop economically, politically and socially.
“Increasingly, this commitment is focused on building partnerships beyond the traditional emphasis on international development and aid, to strengthening bilateral and trade relations,” it states.
“Nevertheless, our continuing and deepening commitment to development assistance will help us broaden our engagement beyond our traditional areas of focus in English-speaking, and predominantly east, Africa. This will help us to gain insight into and build partnerships with a wider range of countries and stakeholders in Africa, facilitating a more rounded and multifaceted relationship with the countries on the continent.”
At a country level, the Irish government intends to immediately strengthen their presence in Kenya and build on Enterprise Ireland’s footprint in Kenya by increasing headcount in other African markets and extending the pathfinder network.
They will also look to leverage the presence of multinationals in Ireland to support their work in driving economic development in Africa, including through innovative uses of technology, to be reflected in the forthcoming White Paper on International Development.
Across the continent, the document states the Irish government will develop and deepen Ireland’s institutional linkages with Africa, including through their applications to become a member of the African Development Bank.