Africa in the International System

The Africa Programme uses its networks of governmental and non-governmental actors across Africa and around the world to help generate a better understanding of the changing dynamics of African political economies and international relations.

The programme focuses on Africa’s changing relationship with the European Union, as well as the drivers of and prospects for further engagement between countries in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and sub-Saharan Africa. The UK’s complex and changing relations in Africa are analysed through our 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 drivers, nature and impact of the emerging interests and relations between countries in the Horn of Africa and the Gulf have been at the core of the Programme’s work in 2016-17, while a series of Africa Programme papers have examined relations between Africa and emerging powers, including South Korea, Turkey, and South Africa.

A seminar in 2016 provided an early assessment of the sixth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI), held in Nairobi on 27 and 28 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.

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 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.

The Programme continues to follow Africa’s engagement in international fora and organisations, including the UN. In 2017 the programme hosted H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, chairperson of the African Union Commission. 

More on Africa in the International System

Latest (105)
Research Event

Zimbabwe’s International Re-engagement and Socio-economic Recovery

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Somaliland's Regional Priorities and Strategic Partnerships

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Kenya’s Priorities for Inclusive Growth: Towards Domestic Development and Regional Peace

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The Relevance of Intergovernmental Organizations to African States: The Role of the Commonwealth

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Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa Relations: Opportunities for Cooperation

Xi Jinping arrives to a guard of honour in Harare in 2015. Photo: Getty Images.
Expert comment

How Influential Is China in Zimbabwe?

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South Africa's Foreign Policy: All Things to All States?

Customers register their MTN Group Ltd mobile phone sim cards at a roadside kiosk in Lagos, Nigeria, on 31 October 2015. The South African multinational MTN is Africa’s largest wireless operator. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Research paper

South Africa’s Economic Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa: Drivers, Constraints and Future Prospects

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Gabon’s Foreign Policy: What Role in Regional Peace and Development?

A Sudanese soldier walks in a procession during President Omar al-Bashir's tour in Darfur on 21 September. Photo: Getty Images.
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US Must Keep a Close Watch on Sudan After Easing Sanctions

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Sudan After Sanctions: Priorities for Regional and International Engagement

The foreign ministers of Somalia and Qatar hold a joint press conference on 25 May. Photo: Getty Images.
Expert comment

Gulf Crisis Is Leading to Difficult Choices in the Horn of Africa

Kenya's new railway begins its inaugural journey. Photo: Getty Images.
Expert comment

Lessons from Kenya’s New, Chinese-funded Railway

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Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects for Sustained Re-engagement

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Furthering Development and Humanitarian Progress in Sudan: The Role of the UN

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Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Seeking New Partnerships?

The main hall of the Budapest Congress and Trade Center on 16 May 2011, as parliamentarians from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations kicked off talks with their EU counterparts. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Staff/Getty Images.
Research paper

Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects for Sustained Re-engagement

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The UK and Africa in the International System: Priorities and Engagement Post-Brexit

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Growth in Africa: The End of Africa Rising?

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Implications of Changing International Trade: The View from South Africa

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Research & Publications (27)
Customers register their MTN Group Ltd mobile phone sim cards at a roadside kiosk in Lagos, Nigeria, on 31 October 2015. The South African multinational MTN is Africa’s largest wireless operator. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images.
Research paper

South Africa’s Economic Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa: Drivers, Constraints and Future Prospects

The main hall of the Budapest Congress and Trade Center on 16 May 2011, as parliamentarians from the Africa, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group of nations kicked off talks with their EU counterparts. Photo: Attila Kisbenedek/Staff/Getty Images.
Research paper

Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects for Sustained Re-engagement

The maiden commercial flight for Turkish Airlines into Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, 6 March 2012. Photo: Phil Moore/AFP/Getty Images.
Research paper

Turkey’s Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa: Shifting Alliances and Strategic Diversification

Image credit: Horst Rahmelow
Research paper

South Korea’s Engagement in Sub-Saharan Africa: Fortune, Fuel and Frontier Markets

Zimbabwe's International Re-engagement
Chatham House Report

Zimbabwe’s International Re-engagement: The Long Haul to Recovery

Other resource

Too Many to Count? Human Rights, Justice and Accountability in Nigeria: 2013 Country Visit Report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria

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Africa and the International Criminal Court

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A New Way to Engage? French Policy in Africa from Sarkozy to Hollande

Research paper

The ICC Intervention in Kenya

Chatham House Briefing

Brazil in Africa: Just Another BRICS Country Seeking Resources?

Other resource

Young Democracy 2012: Country Visit Report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria

Other resource

Launch of the 2012 Report of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Nigeria

European Parliament Report

The EU Strategic Framework for the Horn of Africa: A Critical Assessment of Impacts and Opportunities

Research paper

End of the Roadmap: Somalia after the London and Istanbul Conferences

Other resource

China and Africa: A Century of Engagement

Other resource

A New Effort to Help Somalia

Other resource

British Government Consultation with the UK-based Somali Diaspora

Research paper

UK-South Africa Relations and the Bilateral Forum

Report for the European Parliament's Committee on Foreign Affairs

Implementing the EU Concept on Mediation: Learning from the Cases of Sudan and the Great Lakes

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Education in Angola: Partnership Opportunities for the UK

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Past events (55)
Research Event

Zimbabwe’s International Re-engagement and Socio-economic Recovery

Research Event

Somaliland's Regional Priorities and Strategic Partnerships

Research Event

Kenya’s Priorities for Inclusive Growth: Towards Domestic Development and Regional Peace

Research Event

The Relevance of Intergovernmental Organizations to African States: The Role of the Commonwealth

Research Event

Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa Relations: Opportunities for Cooperation

Research Event

South Africa's Foreign Policy: All Things to All States?

Research Event

Gabon’s Foreign Policy: What Role in Regional Peace and Development?

Research Event

Sudan After Sanctions: Priorities for Regional and International Engagement

Research Event

Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Prospects for Sustained Re-engagement

Research Event

Furthering Development and Humanitarian Progress in Sudan: The Role of the UN

Research Event

Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Seeking New Partnerships?

Research Event

Turkey’s Foreign Policy Priorities in Africa

Research Event

The UK and Africa in the International System: Priorities and Engagement Post-Brexit

Research Event

Growth in Africa: The End of Africa Rising?

Research Event

Implications of Changing International Trade: The View from South Africa

Research Event

Central and Eastern Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa: Perspectives on Renewed Engagement

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Central Europe-Africa Relations: Drivers and Prospects for Deepening Engagement

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TICAD and Africa: Lessons for Coordination and Impact

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Kenya’s Foreign Policy Priorities: Peace, Security and Prosperity

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The Role of US Africa Command in Peace and Security in Africa

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