Research Event

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

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Chatham House, London


Speakers include:
Adam Afriyie MP, Prime Minister's Trade Envoy to Ghana
Dr Danielle Beswick, Senior Lecturer, International Development Department, University of Birmingham
Dr Donal Brown CBE, Director, East and Central Africa, Department for International Development
Tobias Ellwood MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Minister for the Middle East and Africa
Murray Grant, Managing Director, Intermediated Equity, CDC Group
Chairs include:
Tutu Agyare, Non-Executive Director, Tullow Oil
Dr Alexander Beresford, Associate Professor in African Politics, School of Politics and International Studies, University of Leeds
Dr Alex Vines OBE, Research Director, Area Studies and International Law and Head, Africa Programme, Chatham House


The UK maintains strong and historic relationships with many African states, and the continent is an important part of UK economic, security, and development policy. However, as the UK’s wider foreign policy priorities and relationships shift following the Brexit vote, uncertainty surrounding the country’s relationships with African states has increased. The coming change may generate opportunities for strengthened relations with partners on the continent, but a lack of certainty and predictability as to how to capitalize on this change may be a disincentive to trade and investment. Furthermore, as the UK re-evaluates its role and status in the world, it will adjust its ambitions and contributions towards global peace and security initiatives, and there has been a hardening of public attitudes towards foreign aid.

This event will bring together academics, business representatives, diplomats and government representatives, relevant stakeholders from across Whitehall departments and other experts  to discuss what the UK’s vision and strategy  for its post-Brexit Africa engagement should be, and what further research is needed to support policy-makers and to generate a broader understanding of challenges ahead.

This event is being held in partnership with the University of Leeds and is being supported by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Event contact

Eugénie McLachlan

+44 (0)207 314 3645