'The UK’s development strategy and the new economic and geopolitical challenges' with Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister for Development and Africa

Past Event

06 March 2024, 5:00pm - 6:15pm

Oxford Martin School & Online
34 Broad Street (corner of Holywell and Catte Streets), Oxford, OX1 3BD

Event Recording:

The UK launched an international development White Paper in November 2023, setting out seven areas for action across a broad range of development themes and policy areas.

The White Paper recognises the increasingly contested world we face, with a more complicated and fractured geopolitical environment. As the UK moves into implementing this vision, it will need to navigate this.

The Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell MP, will join us to discuss how to address these challenges as well as seize new opportunities.

The panel will consider how to mobilise additional resources for genuine impact when fiscal and political conditions in the UK and traditional donor partners are unfavourable; how to work with new and emerging donors and balance the imperative for more funds against the UK’s commitment to its values; how to manoeuvre in the context of the wide choices of finance available to recipient countries, often with different terms and conditions; and how to balance a focus on climate mitigation, primarily in middle income countries, with finance to tackle extreme poverty and climate adaptation, primarily in the least developed countries.


  • Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP, Minister for Development and Africa
  • Professor Stefan Dercon, Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance
  • Dr Emily Jones, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government
  • Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira (Chair), Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

Mitchell Andrew

Rt Hon Andrew Mitchell MP
Minister of State (Development and Africa)

Andrew Mitchell was appointed as a Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) on 25 October 2022. He was previously Secretary of State for International Development from May 2010 to September 2012. He was elected Conservative MP for Sutton Coldfield on 7 June 2001.

After serving as a government whip between 1993 and 1995, Andrew served as Minister for Social Security from 1995 to 1997.

While in opposition, he was Shadow Minister for Economic Affairs from 2003 to 2004 and Shadow Minister for Home Affairs from 2004 to 2005. He then served as Shadow Secretary of State for International Development until the 2010 election.

Stefan Dercon

Professor Stefan Dercon
Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

Stefan Dercon is Co-Director of the Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance & Oxford Martin Programme on Systemic Resilience; Professor of Economic Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and the Economics Department, and a Fellow of Jesus College. He is also Director of the Centre for the Study of African Economies.

Between 2011 and 2017, he was Chief Economist of the Department of International Development (DFID), the UK government department responsible for aid policy and spending.

His research interests concern what keeps people and countries poor: the failures of markets, governments and politics, mainly in Africa, and how to change this. Current work focuses on the psychological challenges of poverty, the political economy of development, the challenges of industrialisation in Africa, and how to prepare for and finance responses to natural disasters and protracted humanitarian crises. He is also closely involved in policy work on the big challenges in development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

Emily Jones preferred2 website

Dr Emily Jones
Associate Professor of Public Policy, Blavatnik School of Government

Emily Jones is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Blavatnik School of Government and a Fellow of University College.

Emily directs the Global Economic Governance Programme which fosters research and debate on how to make the global economy inclusive and sustainable. Her research examines the political economy of global trade and finance. She is currently leading a research project on digital trade, examining how governments are responding to digitalisation and digital technologies through trade agreements. She is co-founder and co-director of the Trade and Public Policy (TaPP) Network, which seeks to foster engagement between academics and UK policymakers. She is an Associate Fellow of Chatham House, and recently served as a specialist adviser to the International Trade Select Committee in the UK Parliament.

Emily holds a DPhil in International Political Economy from the University of Oxford, an MSc (distinction) in Development Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and a first-class BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from the University of Oxford. She previously worked in Ghana's Ministry of Trade and Industry, for Oxfam GB, and for the UK Department for International Development.

Ricardo Soares De Oliveira

Professor Ricardo Soares de Oliveira
Co-Director, Oxford Martin Programme on African Governance

Ricardo Soares de Oliveira is Professor of the International Politics of Africa at the Department of Politics and International Relations, University of Oxford; Official Fellow of St Peter's College; and a Fellow with the Global Public Policy Institute, Berlin. He is the co-director of the Oxford Martin School’s Programme on African Governance and a former editor of African Affairs, the journal of the Royal African Society. He has been awarded a Leverhulme Trust/British Academy Senior Research Fellowship for 2023-24.

Ricardo is the author of Magnificent and Beggar Land: Angola Since the Civil War (2015) and Oil and Politics in the Gulf of Guinea (2007) and co-editor of China Returns to Africa (2008). He is currently writing a book titled Africa Offshore: The Global Offshore Economy and the Reshaping of African Politics. His individual and collaborative work has received support from the Leverhulme Trust, the ESRC, the Joffe Trust, the Volkswagen Foundation, the FCDO, the British Academy, among others.