New UK Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa and Red Sea appointed: Alison Blackburne

Alison Blackburne has been appointed UK Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa and Red Sea. She takes up the role with experience in a wide range of diplomatic roles in the UK and overseas, including previously serving as the British High Commissioner to Uganda and British Ambassador to South Sudan.

The UK Envoy’s role is to lead the UK response to international activity in the Horn of Africa region, engaging with key actors.

Deputy Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell said:

The UK is committed to building our long-term partnerships in the Horn of Africa, wider East Africa and across the Gulf. Our relationship tackles a range of issues, from humanitarian crises to trade, investment, and regional security.

It’s been a critical year for the region, from a devastating conflict in Sudan, to attacks on commercial shipping in the Red Sea and building our trade links in the Gulf.

Alison will bring invaluable knowledge and experience to the role, and I am confident she will grow our diplomatic relationships in the coming years.

UK Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa and Red Sea Alison Blackburne said: 

The Horn of Africa is a dynamic region, and the UK remains focussed on working with partners to bring peace, stability, and prosperity for its people.

We are committed to tackling the key issues which affect communities across the region.  These include conflict and instability, humanitarian crises, climate change and food insecurity, as well as the challenges and opportunities of regional economic cooperation and trade and investment.

It is a privilege to accept this position, and I look forward to working with our international partners at such a crucial time.”