The election of the Labour government on 1 May, after 18 years in opposition, comes at a time of growing Anglophone influence in Africa (AC Vol 38 No 10, New fingers on Zaïre's trigger) and more optimism about the region's economic prospects. The new government wants to reinforce Whitehall's concentration on Southern Africa. Many new ministers – such as South Africa-born Peter Hain (Minister of State at the Welsh Office) and Anglo-Ghanaian Paul Boateng (Minister of State for Health) – were active in the Anti-Apartheid Movement and have close ties with the African National Congress government in South Africa. Fast-rising black MP Una King, who worked in European Union MP Glenys Kinnock's office on issues such as the Western Sahara dispute, takes a keen interest in Africa as does Guyana-born MP Bernie Grant, who has campaigned for the return of the Benin Bronzes, now in the British museum.
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