UK Foreign Office removes job listing calling posts in Africa an 'adventure'

The United Kingdom’s Foreign Office removed a job posting after BuzzFeed News reported that its description described the role in Africa as an “adventure.”

The decision was made after staff within the office criticized the post for using “colonial-era” descriptors to promote the posting.


The advertisement for multiple jobs across the continent was pulled Thursday after BuzzFeed reached out to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) press contact about the language used in the job description.

The title of the job advertisement posted on internal civil service networks read “Fancy an African Adventure?”

"Civil servants should not be going to 'Africa' for an 'Adventure' — overseas roles are not there for escaping from boredom at home, and framing them in this way harks back to colonial-era fantasies of a temporary tropical getaway as a character-building career boost,” an unnamed employee told the news outlet.

The post included an overview of the roles, which said the jobs would give “British expertise” to the “African-led ambitions.”

The outlet noted that the department is growing its work portfolio in Africa, hence the additional job postings.

But another employee worried the language used in the advertisement would dissuade a diverse group of candidates from applying.

"I doubt that it would do well with the U.K.’s diplomatic relations with African countries if they knew that this was how the newly related jobs were being framed and advertised," they said. "And it does not encourage forward-thinking, diverse and inclusive applicants, but those rooted in colonial-era notions of overseas postings."

The Hill has reached out to the FCO for comment.