DUP leader Sir Jeffrey Donaldson picked by Tories as trade envoy to African state of Cameroon – one of the world’s poorest countries

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has appointed Sir Jeffrey Donaldson and Ulster-born Baroness Kate Hoey as international trade envoys.

Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 25th August 2021, 11:39 am

The pair are among 10 Westminster figures recruited to play a key role in the government’s plans to deliver “an ambitious global trade agenda”.

DUP leader Sir Jeffrey has been allocated Cameroon while Ms Hoey, the former Labour MP and now a non-affiliated peer, has been appointed to Ghana.

Former England cricket captain Lord Botham becomes a trade envoy to Australia.

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The peer, who was ennobled last year by the prime minister, led the England Test cricket team between 1980 and 1981, including in two Ashes series against Australia.

The other new envoys are all parliamentarians, sitting in either the House of Lords or as MPs, and have been selected from across different political parties.

International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: “Our trade envoys play a key role in delivering our ambitious global trade agenda, and I am delighted the prime minister has appointed 10 trade envoys who will boost opportunities ... in some of the world’s fastest growing markets.

“By boosting exports, promoting inward investment and creating high-value, high-paying jobs, our trade envoys will help us build back better from Covid-19, ensuring every part of the UK benefits from our trade strategy.”

Cameroon, which has at various times been divided between the empires of Britain, France and Germany, and has a population of roughly 27 million.

About 70% of the population are Christian, and about a quarter are Muslim; English is one of the official langauges.

The life expectancy is 59.

The United Nations says the country is currently “in crisis” with about four million people in “severe” or “extreme need”, partly due to instablity around its border areas.

Its most recent report, from which the picture above comes, says “the electricity network covers only a few localities and remains poor with an overall rate of household electrification at less than 15 per cent [and] mobile telephone network excludes certain rural areas”.

It adds that “chronic malnutrition remains a public health problem in Cameroon, with 32% of children 6-59 months suffering from stunting”.

In all, the UN places Cameroon at 153 out of 189 countries in terms of how well-developed it is (using the matrices of the human development index).

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