Advocacy Work

Through its advocacy and policy programme with the APPG for Africa, the Royal African Society focuses on specific, sometimes overlooked issues, relating to the UK's relationship with Africa that often need attention or reform. Thematic focuses for policy inquiries are chosen in conjunction with the elected parliamentary officers of the APPG for Africa and selected based on where there is unmet demand or need for closer oversight and where an APPG policy inquiry can add most value. 

Inquires usually last 6-12 months and will include an open public consultation on the terms of reference, evidence gathering sessions in parliament, parliamentary delegations (when funding is available) and arranging meetings between parliamentarians and various experts and stakeholders within the inquiry area. Upon conclusion of the inquiry, a policy report complete with recommendations for UK Government is published and a response usually received from the responsible Ministers. These reports are used as tool to grow awareness and interest in the issue within parliament and Whitehall and used to advocate for support from Ministers and decision makers for positive change. 

For a full record of our previous policy reports and committee submissions please see here.

Ongoing inquiry: UK Visa refusals for African visitors
This inquiry was launched in January 2019 and is a joint inquiry of the APPG for Africa, APPG for Diaspora, Development and Migration & the APPG for Malawi together with support from the African Studies Association-UK. For a summary of the inquiry findings so far, please see here.

A public meeting was held in parliament on the 22nd January and an initial meeting with the Immigration Minister on 13th February.

Call for written evidence for inquiry into UK short-stay visas:

The official period for written submissions has closed but some late submissions from organisations with considerable experience of the UK visit visa system will be considered. 

The inquiry committee is gathering evidence and information on following questions:

1) What is your experience of supporting African nationals in applying for visas to attend conferences / events / training sessions in the UK?

2) How many times have you supported African nationals to apply for a UK visa, of whatever type?

3) How many were rejected or approved? What were the most common grounds for refusal given? How many were granted, but too late to allow the participant to attend?

4) For those that reapplied, how many were subsequently granted visas? What circumstances changed in their application? Did they resubmit with additional information? And did the visa arrive in time for them to attend the event?

6) Have you seen any evidence of inconsistency in decision-making regarding visa applications?

7) What do you understand to be the main barriers to submitting successful visa applications for African nationals? And can you estimate how many might have decided not to visit the UK because of the difficulty of obtaining a visa?

Please note that numerically presented evidence is particularly valuable. 

Written statements should be submitted as soon as possible to Hetty Bailey on baileyh@parliament.uk (NB- Statements should be succinct, refer to the questions above, be no longer than 1500 words and in Word document format).