The short-term implications of Brexit for African economies will be mainly noticeable through market volatility. However, according to Control Risks and NKC African Economics, the longer-term impacts on Africa from Brexit are speculative and depend as much on the attitude of future British governments as on the terms of exit. The longer term implications – both economic and geopolitical – hinge on what the terms of Britain leaving the EU are, and how this feeds through transmission mechanism to Africa through trade, aid and soft power and political influence.
Many observers in Africa see the UK’s ‘Leave’ vote as a sign that Britain will become a more inwardly-focused country with less focus and interest in upholding commitments to human rights and inclusive global development. Whether this is perception or reality, the influence of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) on the development agenda is likely to change. DFID has played an influential role over the past 15-20 years in setting a progressive agenda for EU development aid, not least through a commitment to spend 0.7% of GNP on overseas development aid. The fact that the UK is one of the few countries in the world to meet this target and has enshrined it in legislation underlines the role the country has played to date, but whether that continues under new leadership and beyond is now more seriously in doubt than many realise, especially if a recession is looming in the UK.
You can download the full report from NKC African Economics here .