Join us as we welcome Antony Phillipson & Sian Price, British High Commissioners to South Africa & Botswana for a joint in-person session on Monday 26th June from 10:20-11:20 BST.
South Africa holds a unique leadership position at both a sub-regional and continental level.
Structural growth and the COVID-19 pandemic have impacted South Africa significantly. increasingly severe domestic constraints led to GDP growth slowing to 2% in 2022 from 4.9% in 2021. South Africa has recovered its pre-pandemic GDP but not its employment level. At the end of 2022, there were still close to half a million fewer jobs than at the end of 2019, with women and youth persistently more impacted.
Mr. Antony Phillipson took up his appointment as His Majesty's British High Commissioner to the Republic of South Africa in July 2021. Antony joined the Civil Service in 1993 and has held a number of posts in Her Majesty’s Government. His previous roles include: Principal Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Counsellor at the Embassy in Washington; High Commissioner to Singapore; Director (EU External), European and Global Issues Secretariat, Cabinet Office and Director of Trade and Partnerships in the Department for Exiting the European Union (DexEU)
Botswana is located at the centre of Southern Africa. One of the world’s poorest countries at independence in 1966, it rapidly became one of the fastest-growing economies. Significant mineral (diamond) wealth, robust institutions, a stable political environment, prudent economic management, and a relatively small population of about 2.5 million (2022), have made it an upper-middle-income country with an aspiration of becoming a high-income country.
Botswana’s economic success is anchored in prudent macroeconomic policies and robust economic institutions, particularly around managing diamond revenue. But Botswana's reliance on diamonds and a public sector-driven model have made the economy vulnerable to external shocks, as diamonds contribute over 90% of total exports and are a major source of fiscal revenues.
Ms. Sian Price was appointed His Majesty’s British High Commissioner to the Republic of Botswana and UK Special Representative to SADC in February 2020. Prior to this appointment, she served in the British High Commission, Pretoria. Sian is a career diplomat who has worked for the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office since 2000. Her career to date has been divided between the FCDO in London and three overseas postings, in South Africa, Zambia and Bangladesh.