Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney has said Ireland will open a new embassy in Morocco later this year to build on the growth in trade with Africa.

Speaking on World Africa Day, Mr Coveney said there would be further expansion in the years ahead as trade and investment grows in both directions.

The minister will bring a report to Government this week, which will detail the first year of the implementation of the Africa Strategy.

The report shows that this country's exports to Africa amounted to €4.85 billion in 2019, an increase of 36% on 2018.

Last year marked the 60th anniversary of Ireland's presence in Africa when an Irish Consulate opened in Nigeria.

That presence has now expanded to 12 embassies from Cairo to Pretoria.

The Government has committed to opening three new embassies in francophone north and west Africa by 2025, including in Rabat, Morocco this year.

"The election of Ireland to the UN Security Council enabled Ireland to deepen our contribution to peace and security in Africa, building on the work of our peacekeepers and the contribution of the Irish Aid programme, which the OECD last year said was an example to other donors," Mr Coveney said.

Last year, Ireland became a member of the African Development Bank to support inclusive economic growth and sustainable development.