Episode 49: Whither the UK–Africa Relationship?

As geopolitical competition intensifies, we look at the future trajectory of the UK–Africa relationship.

For over two decades, international conversations about Africa were dominated by Western aid and preoccupations with the Global War on Terrorism. But recently, with great and middle powers visibly competing for influence across Africa, a new layer of complexity has been added to relations. For countries such as the UK and France, knowing how and when to engage can be a challenge: both countries have chequered histories that include colonialism, centuries of trade and two-way migration, support for development and – in the UK’s case – profit from slavery as well as support for its abolishment.

Yet, Africa is a diverse and dynamic continent, and presents openings and opportunities to those who engage in the right way.. In this episode, Neil Melvin talks to Ted Elgar, Head of Research at the Coalition for Global Prosperity, and Simon Rynn, Senior Research Fellow for African Security at RUSI, to discuss the prospects for fruitful cooperation between the UK and Africa.

The views or statements expressed by guests are their own and their appearance on the podcast does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Views and opinions expressed by RUSI employees are those of the employees and do not necessarily reflect the view of RUSI.


Dr Neil Melvin

Director, International Security

International Security

View profile

Simon Rynn

Senior Research Fellow, African Security

International Security

View profile


Explore our related content