Emma Wade-Smith was announced as Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for Africa in June 2018.
Emma has lived and worked in South Africa since February 2016, following her appointment as the UK’s Trade Director for Southern Africa. She created, and has led, the Department for International Trade’s (DIT) pan-African regional trade team since April 2017.
She has also worked on international trade at the UK’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).
Prior to working on trade and investment Emma has had a distinguished career as a British diplomat, spanning more than 2 decades.
- the UK’s Counsellor for Foreign and Security Policy at the British Embassy in Washington DC
- 2 years heading up the Crisis Response Team in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
- the British Embassy in Mexico
- the British Embassy in Chile
- secondments to the United Nations in New York and the European Commission in Brussels
She was awarded an OBE by Her Majesty the Queen for her work helping British nationals to safety from crisis areas all around the world, as Head of the FCO’s Crisis Response Team.
Emma speaks reasonably fluent Spanish and is working on her French.
HM Trade Commissioner for Africa
The HM Trade Commissioner for Africa works closely with the wider diplomatic network and other colleagues to coordinate the UK government effort to promote UK trade and investment across the African continent.
The Trade Commissioner has full responsibility for all Department for International Trade (DIT) work in Africa including:
- growing the overall bilateral trade and investment relationship between the UK and Africa
- improving market access for British companies, including small and medium sized businesses (SMEs)
- developing finance and trade policy