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Lords Committee to quiz Government on approach to Sub-Saharan Africa

The House of Lords International Relations and Defence Committee will this week have its final oral evidence session as part of its inquiry into Sub-Saharan Africa.

The session will explore the Government's role in supporting the region amidst COVID-19, as well as covering the future strategic role of the UK in Sub-Saharan Africa, including in the areas of climate change, investment and peacekeeping.

The evidence session will be conducted on zoom and can be followed at from 10am on Wednesday 20 May. Giving evidence will be:

  • James Duddridge MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Department for International Development (Minister for Africa)
  • Harriet Mathews OBE, Director for Africa, Foreign and Commonwealth Office
  • Debbie Palmer, Director for West and Southern Africa, Department for International Development 

Topics the session will cover include:

  • The effects of COVID-19 on Sub-Saharan Africa, and how the UK is cooperating with international partners to support the region.
  • What is behind the UK's “strategic approach” to Africa? 
  • The importance of the African Union in the Government's approach to the region.
  • How will the Government follow up on January's UK-Africa Investment Summit?
  • How important will overseas development assistance be to the UK's strategic approach to Africa, and which areas of funding will be most important? 
  • What are the most effective ways to address climate change the region, how will this be prioritised as part of international climate negotiations? 
  • To what extent has the nature of conflict in Sub-Saharan Africa changed, and what does this means for the future of peacekeeping? 
  • What is the Government doing to support human rights, the rule of law and democracy in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • Does the Government see the UK's withdrawal from the European Union as an opportunity to diverge from the EU's approach to Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • How important will cooperation with the EU and European partners be in future, and which non-African countries does the Government believe it is most important to cooperate with?  
  • Does the Government acknowledge that the current UK visa regime harms the UK's relationships in Sub-Saharan Africa?
  • How will the UK's strategic approach to Africa be considered as part of the Government's Integrated Review?

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