Emma Wade Smith UK's new trade commissioner for Africa
This appointment will build on the UK’s position as a leading partner for Africa’s peace, security and prosperity – supporting trade, investment and job growth.
Africa trade expert Emma Wade Smith OBE named as Her Majesty's Trade Commissioner for Africa to boost the UK's trade and investment relationship with the continent.
Africa is home to 4 of the world's top 6 fastest-growing economies: Libya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire. Africa's long-term success matters to the UK.
Wade-Smith is a senior diplomat and trade expert of 20 years, and has served in Brussels, Chile, Mexico, Washington and more recently in Africa as DIT's regional trade director. She was awarded an OBE for diplomatic service in 2012.
More than £28 billion of goods and services were traded between the UK and African countries in 2016. The continent is also home to 4 of the top 6 fastest-growing economies in the world (Libya, Ethiopia, Ghana and Cote d'Ivoire) and opportunities in infrastructure alone are estimated to be worth more than £62 billion a year.
This appointment will build on the UK's position as a leading partner for Africa's peace, security and prosperity – supporting trade, investment and job growth.
The appointment will be made this morning at a business forum discussing the Prosperity Fund, a UK government initiative to remove barriers to inclusive economic growth in order to reduce poverty in partner countries whilst creating opportunities for international businesses, including UK firms.
International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said:
HM Trade Commissioners play a critical role in our international economic department and will have more autonomy to do what works best in their region to improve trade with key markets of the future.
With young and growing populations, and the world's fastest-growing middle class, there is huge potential for British businesses to create modern trading partnerships across Africa. Emma will help unlock the continent's potential, supporting jobs, growth and prosperity in the UK and Africa.
DIT Permanent Secretary Antonia Romeo added:
DIT is attracting the best and brightest people to work on the UK's future trade policy as we prepare to leave the EU. Emma's appointment is the latest in a series of hires that will boost the UK's trade and investment relations across the world.
I look forward to working with Emma and her new colleagues as we build a truly global Britain.
Having spent the last 2 years working on this exciting and dynamic continent, I know it is bursting not only with opportunities today, but potential for tomorrow. I will put partnerships at the heart of our business relationships, building on the work we're already doing to transform our shared entrepreneurial spirit into jobs and growth in the UK and across Africa.
Emma Wade-Smith joins Simon Penney (Middle East), Richard Burn (China), Jo Crellin (Latin America), Crispin Simon (South Asia), Judith Slater (Eastern Europe and Central Asia) and Antony Phillipson (North America) as HM Trade Commissioners, with those for Europe and Asia-Pacific to be confirmed shortly.