In a bid to boost the United Kingdom’s trade and investment relationship with the African continent, Emma Wade-Smith, an Africa trade expert has been named as the country’s trade commissioner for Africa.
The appointment is set to build on the UK’s position as a leading partner for Africa’s peace, security and prosperity – supporting trade, investment and job growth.
Emma Wade-Smith’s appointment made amidst vast opportunities in infrastructure estimated to be worth more than £62 billion a year, was announced by Liam Fox, the international trade secretary.
Wade-Smith, awarded an officer of the British Empire (OBE) for diplomatic service in 2012, 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.
Commenting on the appointment, Liam Fox 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,” Fox concluded.
Antonia Romeo, DIT permanent secretary added that “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,” she said.
On her appointment, Emma Wade-Smith said: “Having spent the last two 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.