The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP
The Hon. Alexander Downer, MP

Media Release

FA23- 12 February 2004

Diplomatic Appointment: High Commissioner to Nigeria

I have today announced the appointment of Iain Cameron Dickie as Australia's High Commissioner to the Federal Republic of Nigeria with concurrent accreditation to Ghana, Senegal and the Gambia.

Mr Dickie will replace Bob Whitty who has been High Commissioner since January 2001. He is expected to take up his appointment later this month.

Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa and is highly influential in regional and international affairs. As incoming Commonwealth Chair-in-Office and host of the 2003 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Abuja, Nigeria will play a very important role in Commonwealth affairs over the next two years.

Australia's relations with Nigeria remain close, based on shared democratic values and a mutual commitment to the rule of law.

Mr Dickie's appointment comes at a time of growing Australian commercial engagement in West Africa, particularly in the mining industry. This provides mutually advantageous opportunities for both Australia and the countries of West Africa, in which Australian expertise and investment can contribute to longer-term development.

Mr Dickie is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and most recently served as High Commissioner in Malta (2000-03). He has also served as Counsellor in Brussels (1990-94).

In Canberra, Mr Dickie held the position of Director, EU and European Institutions Section (1997-2000); Director, Agricultural Trade Policy Section (1994-97); Director, GATT Projects Section (1987-89); and Assistant Director, West Europe Section, Department of Trade and Resources (1983-85).

Mr Dickie has also held the position of Acting Manager, Europe Branch in the Australian Trade Commission (1985-86) and worked in the Trade Relations and Markets Division in the Department of Trade and Resources (1979-85) and as a Senior Research Officer in the Bureau of Agricultural Economics (1970-79).

Educated in Glasgow, Scotland, Mr Dickie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with Honours in Economics. He is married with two children.

Media inquiries: Chris Kenny +61 02 6277 7500 - Lyndall Sachs (Departmental) 02 6261 1555

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