Boris Johnson referred to Africa as "that country" in a speech to the Conservative Party conference reflecting on his first three months as Foreign Secretary.
Mr Johnson made the blunder as he painted the world as a "less safe, more dangerous and more worrying" place than it was 10 years ago.
He nonetheless received a warm reception for his speech from party members as he praised the UK's role in foreign affairs, saying British values "continue to lift the world out of poverty".
Mr Johnson appeared to suggest Africa could benefit from adopting more British values, warning countries across the continent were instead becoming more authoritarian.
And he then said: "Life expectancy in Africa has risen astonishingly as that country has entered the global economic system."
The Foreign Secretary said confidence in free market capitalism and liberal democracy had been dented, saying the UK "must be humble and realistic enough to accept" that they had been hurt by the Iraq War, the 2008 crash and the "global suspicion of bankers".
But while he described Brexit as "a vote for economic and political freedom", he also urged the Western world not to shy away from global politics.
He said that the refugee crisis and the rising number of deaths from conflict around the world were "partly as a result of that lack of western self-confidence - political, military, economic".Reuse content