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UK appoints new trade commissioner to boost business with Africa

UK appoints new trade commissioner to boost business with Africa

John Humphrey, former group chief executive at Kent HoldCo Limited has been appointed as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HMTC) to Africa by Anne-Marie Trevelyan, International Trade Secretary, on June 23, 2022.

HMTCs work closely with ambassadors, high commissioners, and the wider diplomatic network to promote UK trade and prosperity in their region.

Trevelyan said “John will be an asset to the Department of International Trade (DIT) in Africa; championing Global Britain and helping UK businesses to succeed in new markets, from Tunisia to Tanzania, or Senegal to South Africa.”

In his remarks, the new HMTC for Africa, said, “As someone who spent my most memorable childhood years in Africa, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue the DIT’s vital work enabling British businesses and investors to discover this remarkable continent and to generate long-term, mutually prosperous relationships.”

Also, Chim Chalemera, DIT country director in Nigeria, said, “It is fantastic to have John join the DIT team. Nigeria is a priority market for DIT in Africa and having lived in Nigeria before, we know John will already be familiar with the diverse opportunities that Nigeria has to offer to UK businesses and we really look forward to welcoming him back for visits to Africa’s economic powerhouse.

Read also: Opportunities in volatile trade environment, the AfCFTA perspective

“We are particularly excited to showcase our diversification efforts away from oil & gas into key sectors such as creatives and tech where Nigeria is a leader in the continent,” Chalemera added.

Humphrey, now part of a team of nine Trade Commissioners promoting Global Britain, is assigned the task of generating business opportunities for the UK while contributing to the growth of sustainable, resilient, and productive economies across the African continent.

Prior to joining the DIT, John held a variety of commercial, general management, and executive roles in the UK and overseas, most recently as Group Chief Executive at Kent HoldCo Limited and as Chief Executive & Accounting Officer of the UK Hydrographic Office (a MOD Trading Fund). He is also a Lay Trustee of the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapy.

With a rising population and an economy worth $2.4 trillion, the UK’s prosperous trade and investment relationship with Africa offers enormous opportunities in a number of industries, including tech, transportation, clean energy, sustainable infrastructure, and agri-tech.