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Our relationship with Africa

New Zealand shares strong partnerships with a range of African states, and our trade with the region has been growing strongly in recent years. Africa is undergoing a major transformation as its nations open up their extensive energy and resource markets, and economic growth brings better living standards to millions of Africans. This change presents opportunities for New Zealand and the scope to develop new connections and trade links. 

Formal connections

Formal connections with Africa are led by our diplomatic missions in Cairo, Addis Ababa and Pretoria.  We also have a seconded diplomat co-located in the Australian Embassy in Accra, Ghana.  We have longstanding connections with Africa through the Commonwealth and our work with the United Nations (UN) of which African countries make up more than a quarter of the membership. African issues make up a large part of the UN Security Council’s work, and New Zealand is committed to engaging with Africa on these issues during our term on the council (2015-16).

New Zealand also engages strongly with the African Union (AU), a group of 54 African countries that work to promote unity and coordination among countries on the continent. We've supported the development of the AU Handbook which provides a guide for people working within the AU system (member states, government officials) as well as the AU's partners and the public. New Zealand’s Foreign Affairs Minister is a regular attendee at AU Summits.


New Zealand exports to Africa have more than tripled in the decade to 2014, with Africa now receiving 9% of New Zealand’s dairy exports.  In addition to exports, a variety of New Zealand companies are successfully exploring service opportunities in Africa, including in education, software and mobile technology, and agriculture.  

Two-way goods trade with Africa 1994 - 2014 ($NZ millions) 

Market  1994 2004   2014
All Africa 387.8 932.1 2,454.4


109.2 583.1
South Africa 103.2 289.4 340.4


61.5 95.7 493.7
Nigeria 1.9 126.5 365.1
Morocco  46.9 114.0 172.3
Sudan  0.1 5.3 45.9
Ghana  0.5


Mauritius  27.8 29.7 80.6
Angola  2.8 6.6 46.8
Senegal  2.9 2.3 23.0


The New Zealand Aid Programme’s influence in Africa is small yet valued. We focus on four areas – agriculture, renewable energy, business, and education and training.

African students from selected countries are able to apply for New Zealand Development Scholarships which focus on agriculture and geothermal development. New Zealand also supports English Language Training for Officials (ELTO) courses to help African officials to participate in forums where English is the main language.

New Zealand is a regular contributor to humanitarian assistance programmes. Most recently this included staff and funding to support the UN response to the disease Ebola in Sierra Leone. Other recent contributions include humanitarian relief to the Central African Republic, for emergency food assistance and livelihoods support, and funding for the UN trust funds that have been established to provide support for the African Union missions in Somalia and the Central African Republic.

Media release: New Zealand steps up support for fight against Ebola (external link)

Find out more about the New Zealand Aid Programme in Africa

Embassies and consular services

African diplomatic representation in Wellington is led by the South African High Commission, which opened in 2009, and the Egyptian Embassy, which opened in 2011. Many other African states maintain diplomatic representation to New Zealand from Canberra or Tokyo.

South African High Commission (external link)

Egyptian Embassy (external link)

LocationService area
Egypt, Cairo Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia
Ethiopia, Addis Ababa
Ethiopia, African Union, Djibouti, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda
France, Paris Senegal
South Africa, Pretoria South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe
United Kingdom, London
Ghana and Nigeria
New Zealand, Auckland Mauritius and the Seychelles (these are served by our Ambassador for Pacific Economic Development, Shane Jones, from our Auckland office)