The United Kingdom has appointed Emma Wade-Smith OBE as HM Trade Commissioner for Africa.
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 worth £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.
Commenting on the appointment, UK International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP said: “Trade is at the heart of our approach to Africa and I am delighted to welcome Emma Wade-Smith to her new role.
“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.”
Wade-Smith, who has been working in Africa for the past two years expressed excitement at the new appointment. She noted that the continent 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,” Wade-Smith said.