Nicholas Westcott

A regular blog from RAS Director, Nicholas Westcott.


Monday, 8 October 2018
Written by Nicholas Westcott
  This is a good week for Africa in the UK.  Today, Monday, is the fifth annual FT Africa Summit. Tomorrow, Tuesday, is the Royal African Society’s Annual Lecture, to be given this year by former President of Liberia, Nobel Laureate and winner of the 2017 Mo Ibrahim Award, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. And then on Wednesday and Thursday, the British Government-hosted conference on combating International Wildlife Trafficking will be held in London with a wide representation from the... more
Monday, 27 August 2018
Written by Nicholas Westcott
On 28 August, Theresa May will pay her first visit to Africa as British Prime Minister, the first substantive visit to Africa by any British PM since 2011. This is good news, and a golden opportunity to reset Britain’s relations with the continent. But what should her message be? For one thing, there is some ground to make up. The recent lack of high level government visits, the rapid turnover of Ministers responsible for Africa, and a focus often apparently limited to development and... more
Monday, 16 July 2018
Written by Nicholas Westcott
On 16-17 July, the EU is hosting in Brussels a Partnership Forum for Somalia. This comes at a crucial time. Things in the Horn are in a state of flux such as we have not seen for years. There is a chance that one of the most volatile and fragile regions of the continent could begin to stabilise. But only if local actors are willing, and the international community is united and supportive. Neither can be taken for granted. African Arguments has just started publishing a series of articles on... more
Friday, 29 June 2018
Written by Nicholas Westcott
The European Council is meeting in Brussels yesterday and today to discuss migration. As is already clear, this is fundamentally an issue of domestic politics in European member states, in many of which it has become the hottest political potato in town and a decisive factor in recent elections. But we should not forget that the people being talked about - the migrants themselves - are overwhelmingly African. It is worth noting that this argument happens as the tide of migrants recedes.... more
Monday, 16 April 2018
Written by Nicholas Westcott
Commonwealth Heads of State and Government meet in London this week. Of the 53 members of the Commonwealth, 19 are African, the largest single group. There are of course historical reasons for this. But it is striking that the two newest members of the organisation (leaving aside welcome re-joiners like The Gambia) are both from Africa: Mozambique, which joined in 1995, and Rwanda in 2009. More are waiting. So the Commonwealth is beginning to spread beyond the strict Anglosphere, as the... more