Foreign Relations and Africa’s Agency in the International System

Research and networks of governmental and non-governmental actors help to support a deeper understanding of the changing dynamics of African political economies and international relations.

In 2019, the programme hosted its flagship conference in Addis Ababa, Africa’s Future in a Changing Global Order: Agency in International Relations. The two-day conference was launched with a keynote address by Former President of Tanzania, HE Jakaya Kikwete.

The Africa Programme focuses on Africa’s changing relationship with the European Union, as well as the drivers and prospects of engagements between countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and sub-Saharan Africa. In 2019, the programme co-hosted Slovenia’s eighth Africa Day Conference in Ljubljana. The UK’s engagements and influence in Africa are analysed through work on UK Policy in Africa.

Emerging economies around the world are developing their political and economic relations with African states in pursuit of a number of strategic goals. The Programme’s research shows the extent of the impact that Gulf region dynamics and links into the Horn of Africa have on outcomes in that region.

A series of papers have examined relations between Africa and emerging powers, including South Korea, Turkey, and South Africa. In 2018, H.E. Sibusiso Moyo, Zimbabwe’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, spoke about the country’s international re-engagement.

A Chatham House symposium provided an early assessment of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi in August 2016 and the first to take place on the African continent. Ahead of the 2011 India-Africa Forum, a conference and collection of resources examined India’s modern day relationship with Africa.

The Africa Programme is part of the T20 Africa Standing Group (T20-ASG), a group of African and international think-tanks which will support cooperation between the G20 and Africa with evidence-based policy advice.

Options for improving the effectiveness of international policy towards Africa in the post-G8 world were discussed in a report, Our Common Strategic Interests: Africa’s role in the Post-G8 World, published in 2010.

The Programme continues to follow African states’ engagements in international fora and organisations, including the UN, the African Union, the Commonwealth, l’Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, and the Comunidade dos Países de Língua Portuguesa. H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission, spoke at Chatham House in 2017.