Get up to date with the November 2020 Africa Business Group newsletter. Explore some of the most interesting business news and articles from around the continent.

Visit our dedicated Africa site for more information about doing business in Africa and how Addleshaw Goddard can support you.


At the end of this year the United Kingdom will exit its transition period with the European Union, during which it has applied all existing EU laws and has traded internationally as if it were still in the EU. At the time of writing, a trade deal between the UK and the EU remains to be agreed, leaving much uncertainty as to how the UK will trade with the EU from 1 January 2021. This uncertainty extends to how the UK will trade with African countries from 1 January 2021.

Whilst the views of experts vary on the impact of Brexit on trade between the UK and Africa, it is clear that change is coming. These changes will present both obstacles and opportunities to businesses in the UK and Africa and those that are well-prepared and informed will be best placed to navigate these changes.

In this month's newsletter, we consider how some aspects of the relationship between the UK and Africa will change post-Brexit, including not just trade but also development, as the UK seeks to become a more dominant player on the world stage outside of the shadow of the EU. 

To read our insight on how the relationship between the UK and Africa may change after Brexit, click here

Finally, we would like to thank all of our guests who have contributed to this edition.

Guest Editorials

Brexit: Implications for Trade and other legal arrangements between the UK and Kenya

Richard Harney, Managing Partner, Bowmans

With the impending end of the transition period between the UK and the European Union (EU) all eyes are on whether there will be a deal or not between the UK and EU. Meanwhile, in anticipation of Brexit, the UK has been busy settling new trade deals with its important trading partners all over the world. And Kenya is no exception.

To read this guest article click here

UK-Africa relations after the end of Brexit transition

Barnaby Fletcher, Associate Director, Control Risks

The transition period will come to an end on 1 January 2021 and the true effects of Brexit will start to be realised. Africa will not be spared the disruption. Continuity agreements that “roll over” the terms of the EU’s Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) are in place with a significant number of African countries and regions, and these will undoubtedly help minimise confusion and additional barriers to trade.

To read this guest article click here

Impact of Brexit and the commodities market of East Africa

Nick Kwolek, Founder, Kwolco

On the third of November of this year, Kenya and the UK inked a landmark post Brexit trade deal. This was to a degree to the chagrin of the rest of the EAC (East African community) as Kenya was seen as ‘going it alone’. 

To read this guest article click here

Final stretch for Brexit: What does this mean for Africa?

The UK and European Union are currently in the final stages of negotiation on the terms of their ‘divorce’. The talks have been characterized by a lot of talking, sulking, walk-aways, and renegotiations. It remains to be seen if the process will end in a deal or no deal as to the terms of trade. While the bickering goes on between the ‘parents’, it raises the issue of what will become of the ‘children’ after the break-up.  

The European Union is one of the major trading partners on the African continent. Countries like South Africa are the largest beneficiaries of this trade. Trade arrangements with the UK were initiated within the auspices of the European Union. As the UK sets out on a solo mission, what will become of these deals?  

To read this further click here

Kenya, UK agree terms of post-Brexit trade pact

Kenya has agreed terms for a post-Brexit trade deal with the United Kingdom (UK), paving the way for the signing of a long-term treaty that will shield EAC exports from tariffs.

The two countries announced Tuesday they have reached an “agreement in principle” on continuation of duty- and quota-free access of Kenyan exports such as cut flowers and tea after the UK formally exits the 27-member European Union (EU) at end of the year.

Nairobi opened negotiations with London late September after an earlier bid to hold the talks under the six-nation East African Community (EAC) parameters flopped after majority of the bloc’s partners snubbed the negotiations.

To read this further click here

Namibia Seeks to Ratify Sacum-UK EPA

Namibia is in the process of ratifying the SACU-Mozambique-United Kingdom (UK) economic partnership agreement (EPA) aimed to provide continuity and certainty in trade amongst the parties, when the UK is no longer a member of the European Union.

Trade minister Lucia Iipumbu recently tabled the SACUM-UK agreement in parliament for ratification. The Southern African Customs Union (Sacu) member states and Mozambique earlier this month signed a new economic partnership agreement with the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

To read this further click here

Zimbabwe ratifies EPA with UK

Zimbabwe has ratified an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the United Kingdom in a deal expected to promote reciprocal trade concessions between Harare and London.

Quoting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Sibusiso Moyo, the official Herald daily said on Wednesday that the EPA would provide Zimbabwean exporters tariff- and quota-free access to the UK market.

“This is a huge step for Zimbabwe’s re-engagement efforts. The signing of this partnership will undoubtedly bring increased trade and investment to Zimbabwe,” Moyo is quoted as saying.

To read this further click here

Nigerian governor to address UK business leaders on Brexit opportunities

Nigerian state governor to tell Institute of Directors: “There is a huge status to buying British in Nigeria, but in recent years, Britain has prioritised Europe in its trading relationships, allowing counties like China and Japan to take advantage. Brexit is the perfect opportunity to think again“.

A Nigerian state governor will next month showcase the post-EU opportunities for UK companies in Africa’s largest economy – when he becomes the first African to address an influential group of British business leaders.

To read this further click here

Africa’s Trade with the EU and the UK post Brexit

Until the United Kingdom (UK) finally exits from the European Union (EU) single market at the end of this year, most African exports to the UK enjoy preferential access in terms of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) and Everything but Arms (EBA) arrangements of the EU, provided the applicable rules of origin are complied with.

There has been some progress in negotiating interim Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with the EU, but their implementation is more complicated. They are not WTO-compatible and reciprocal Free Trade Area (FTA) agreements. The SADC-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) is to date the only comprehensive and WTO-compatible FTA agreement between the EU and a specific configuration of African states. It entered into force in October 2016. The African members are the five SACU member states[1] and Mozambique. This is a reciprocal trade agreement with asymmetrical features in favour of the African parties to the agreement. It allows for duty-free and quota-free access to the EU markets, including the UK.[2] These benefits will continue to apply post-Brexit when the ‘rolled over’ SACUM-UK EPA will be implemented. Final entry into force procedures must still be adopted.

To read this further click here

Key Contacts

Chris Taylor

Chris Taylor

Head of UK M&A and Africa
London, UK

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Nick Ashcroft

Nick Ashcroft

Partner, Dispute Resolution
United Kingdom

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