The Duke of Cambridge has announced he is returning to Africa for a conservation-led visit later this month.
William revealed he will be making the working visit to Namibia, Tanzania and Kenya during his first speech as patron of the Royal African Society (RAS), although exact dates have not yet been confirmed.
In his speech, 36-year-old William told the central London reception for the RAS: “Africa’s wildlife is suffering as well as its people.
“Like so many others, I am deeply saddened by the numbers of elephant, rhino and pangolin who have been illegally slaughtered for their tusks, horns and scales. But the illegal wildlife trade also has a devastating human impact.
“Too many brave rangers are tragically killed each year by poachers. Communities see their tourist livelihoods threatened. And the proceeds of the illegal wildlife trade fund broader criminal networks and threaten security.
“This is why I am committed to doing what I can to help end this terrible, global crime. This will be a particular focus of my upcoming visit to Africa, and of course the conference on the illegal wildlife trade taking place here in London in October.”
Also during his speech, William recalled how, during his time in Kenya, Botswana and Tanzania as a teenager, he first ‘fell in love’ with Africa, adding: “Africa is both the oldest and the youngest continent in the world, being both the birthplace of humankind and the continent with the youngest population.
“My patronage of the Royal African Society is an honour and I will certainly continue to be a passionate advocate for Africa here in the UK.”
He went on to describe the futures of Britain and Africa as being ‘inextricably intertwined’, adding tAfrican communities have ‘a long history in Britain.’
Listing some of the challenges faced by the continent, he identified job creation, generating investment, improving security, harnessing new technology, tackling corruption, managing urbanisation, and adapting to social and environmental change.
Earlier in the event, William took part in a private roundtable with experts from the fields of business and academia discussing opportunities and challenges faced in modern-day Africa.
The RAS aims to promote Africa in business, politics, culture and academia and to foster better understanding and strong relationships between Britain, Africa and the world.
It is seen as a way for people to connect, celebrate and engage critically with a wide range of topics and ideas about Africa today.