The newspapers have been full of Tony Blair's forthcoming visit to Africa. A new report from the Campaign Against the Arms Trade has found that the value of British arms sales to Africa is set to quadruple over the next year. African nations spent £52 million on arms deals with British firms in 1999.
That rose to £125.5 million in 2000, and is set to top £200 million next year. Richard Bangley of the Campaign Against the Arms Trade said, 'On the one hand the government is talking about the urgent need for constructive development in Africa, while on the other hand government departments are underwriting and assisting arms dealers to sell weapons on the continent.'
The government is also to give official backing later this year to one of Africa's largest arms fairs-Africa Aerospace and Defence.