Today I announce the appointment of Ms Claire Ireland as Australia’s next High Commissioner to Nigeria. Ms Ireland will also have non-resident accreditation to Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Niger and The Gambia.

The Nigerian economy has grown over the past decade and is the largest in Africa. Nigeria is Australia’s second-largest trading partner on the continent, with two-way trade totalling $1.3 billion in 2017-18. Australia’s economic engagement with Benin, Cameroon, Gabon, Niger and The Gambia, is also increasing, particularly in the mining and oil and gas sectors.

Australia and Nigeria share a longstanding relationship with growing people-to-people links. We work closely in the Commonwealth and the United Nations to promote peace, prosperity and democracy. Australia supports Nigeria’s efforts to counter terrorism and combat violent extremism.

Ms Ireland is a career officer with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and was most recently Counsellor, Economic and Development Cooperation, Australian Embassy, Hanoi.

Ms Ireland holds a Master of Science, Imperial College London; and a Bachelor of Science (Honours), University of Salford.
I thank outgoing High Commissioner Paul Lehmann for his contributions to advancing Australia’s interests in Nigeria since 2015.

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