>> Africa, like much of the rest of the world, has spent the last week working out the implications of the momentous decision by Britain to leave the European Union. I'm Ed Cropley the Reuters' Africa PR chief, reporting today from Johannesburg in South Africa. It's a long way from Africa to London but the ripples of last week's referendum decision have been felt very strongly in Africa.
And the overall consensus is, it's a bad decision and it represents a real knock-back for Africa's interest in the European in the global stage. There are of course notable exceptions. The official media in Zimbabwe are jubilant at the chaos that's libel to ensue in Brussels and London. Largely because Robert Mugabe has always maintained that the sanctions that he's suffering, him and his inner circle are suffering from Brussels, are simply the act of a vengeful London taking its own back and bashing an errant former colony.
The same sorts of dynamic are true in Democratic Republic of Congo. With those two exceptions, however, the consensus is that the decision by Britain to pull out of the European Union has bad consequences for Africa. And the main one, really, is because of its colonial history in the continent, Britain knew the place, it understood the problems that many African people and governments are facing and confronting in the 21st century.
And to a large extent were seen as a force for good and a force to try and resolve those problems and tackle those challenges. And without that expertise that Britain brought to the conversation in Brussels, many other European countries are simply going to pull back from Africa. It’s not a part of the world they understand in any great depth for many, and it’s not part of the world they really care about that much.
But Britain, having them there in the middle of the conversation about Africa and development in Brussels, forced Africa up the international agenda. But unfortunately that voice is now on its way out.