A black woman of Nigerian descent, NneNne Iwuji-Eme has made history as the first British black female career diplomat to be appointed High Commissioner. Iwuji-Eme, who has been at the UK Foreign Office for 16 years, will in July resume her new role as British High Commissioner to Mozambique in succession to Ms Joanna Kuenssberg.
Remarking on the advancement, Iwuji-Eme said it was a benefit to be given that part, including that she trusted her arrangement would inspire others to accomplish their objectives.
“I hope my appointment as the first British black female career diplomat to this position will inspire young talents, regardless of race or background, to pursue their ambitions in the Foreign Office,” she was quoted by The Guardian.
“I look forward to forging even stronger connections between Britain and Mozambique – two close members of the Commonwealth family.”
UK’s Foreign Office responsible for protecting and promoting British interests worldwide has been making improvements in diversity to change the face of the diplomatic service. It now has 13.4 percent of its staff coming from ethnic minorities while women now head up 32 percent of missions.
“As the country heads in a new and exciting direction, it’s important that we have the brightest and the best batting for Britain. Our great diversity is an invaluable asset on the global stage, and it’s only right that at all levels [of] the FCO reflects this,” the foreign secretary, Boris Johnson said after Iwuji-Eme’s appointment.
“As a continent with some of the world’s fastest growing economies, Africa is an important partner post-Brexit. NneNne has the vision, experience and energy to take our relationship with Mozambique to the next level, and I congratulate her on her appointment,” he added.
During her 16-year-stay in the Foreign Office, Iwuji-Eme took up roles ranging from economic adviser for Africa to chief press officer to the Africa minister. She has also worked as an economist at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and for Royal Dutch Shell. Her most recent posting was to Brazil as First Secretary Prosperity and Acting Prosperity Consul.