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Foreign Policy

SAIIA’s Foreign Policy research covers three pillars: South African foreign policy; the foreign policy engagement of key African driver countries in their region, with a specific focus on supporting regional peace and security; and the engagement of key global (including emerging) players in Africa, with the view to supporting African development, peace and stability at a national, regional and continental level.

The programme seeks to produce a body of work that assists policymakers, the business community and civil society working on South African and African foreign policy concerns.

In the lastest SAIIA event exclusively for our diplomatic and corporate members, we were pleased to host an Executive Briefing on 'The Africa we want: Unpacking the primacy of Africa in South Africa’s Foreign Policy'.
The importance of international relations to a country’s well-being is not always apparent to the ordinary person in the street. Often regarded as an unnecessary expense when a country such as South Africa faces significant economic and social challenges, ministries of foreign affairs easily fall prey to the fiscal austerity knife.
Discussions about the Global Commons often veer towards a consideration of great power engagement and commercial activities in the Arctic Circle – made possible by the effects of climate change. However, these developments are equally pertinent for the Antarctic Circle, the subject of a new SAIIA research report.
SAIIA Research Report No 23, March 2016  Download - English Foreign Policy Programme One of the most effective global governance regimes of the post-World War II period that has received very little attention over the years is the Antarctic Treaty. Driven by Cold War pressures and a failure to regulate multiple and overlapping land claims in Antarctica, the US initiated a process that led to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty (the Treaty). Of the 50 Treaty members, 29 (including South Africa) are 'consultative parties' with voting rights. The Treaty provides for inspections and stipulates, inter alia, that Antarctica should remain a…
In March 2016 President Barak Obama undertook a historic visit to Cuba, becoming the first American president to visit the island in 88 years. He has held talks with President Raul Castro in Havana. While diplomatic ties have been restored between the two countries, many issues remain unresolved.
President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by seven members of his executive and a dozen business leaders, undertook a high profile and widely commented state visit to Nigeria earlier this month. The visit, the first for President Zuma since President Muhamadu Buhari took power in peaceful and democratic elections in 2015, had been highly anticipated.
SAIIA and the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa hosted a Panel Discussion on ‘The EU and South Africa in Dialogue: Working towards a more inclusive world'.
The African Union (AU) is convening its January 2016 summit under the guiding theme: ‘African year of human rights with a particular focus on the rights of Women’. Notwithstanding the themes, which in part focus the deliberations at the Summit, the headlines and the pressing issues facing the continent will always steal the thunder from these lofty themes. This current summit is no different.
From 17-18 December 2015, NeST held a technical working group meeting on 'Defining, measuring and reporting South-South Co-operation.'
Three years of international research in Europe and the BICS countries (Brazil, India, China and South Africa) has resulted in a new book, 'Challenges of European External Energy Governance with Emerging Powers'. The chapter 'South Africa-EU energy governance: tales of path dependency, regional power, and decarbonisation' was authored by SAIIA Senior Researcher, Dr Agathe Maupin.
SAIIA, in collaboration with the High Commission of Canada and the US Embassy in Pretoria, invite you to a seminar to be addressed by three very special guests on the topic: 'Support for countries in transition: lessons from the liberation movement of South Africa'.
A webcast is available of the special workshop on 'China-Africa: a maturing relationship? Growth, change and resilience,' held on 3 December 2015 by SAIIA and the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP).
SAIIA, in collaboration with the Australian High Commission, invite you to a seminar to be addressed by Professor The Honourable Gareth Evans AC QC Former Australian Foreign Minister, on 'Responsibility to Protect: Ten Years On'.
On 3 December 2015, SAIIA and the DFID-ESRC Growth Research Programme (DEGRP) hosted a special workshop on 'China-Africa: a maturing relationship? Growth, change and resilience.'
The upcoming Forum on China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) summit in South Africa, the sixth gathering since 2000 and only the second to be held at heads of state level, comes at a time of unprecedented Chinese activism across the globe.
In the context of a ‘normalising’ Chinese economy, that seeks to move from a manufacturing-centred economy to one driven by consumption and services, there are obviously concerns about the impact on Africa through a decrease in commodity exports (and income) to China. Yet such shifts also signal opportunity and perhaps changes in China’s approach towards the continent, to include ‘softer’ issues - like closer public interaction.
Fifteen years after its inception, the sixth Forum on China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC) will be held in Johannesburg on December 4-5 under the theme, ‘Africa-China Progressing Together: Win-Win Cooperation for Common Development’. Launched in October 2000 in Beijing as a tri-annual collective dialogue platform for co-operation between China and Africa, FOCAC is a signal of the dynamic and expanding nature of China-Africa relations. 
SAIIA invites members of the media to our special briefing on the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), 'FOCAC VI : More of the same or signs of change?' on 19 November 2015.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 223, October 2015
SAIIA Policy Insights No 29, November 2015
Chinese economic activities in Africa have gained increased visibility in parallel to the recent acceleration of Sino-African relations. But, as two case studies in a new paper illustrate, Chinese operations in Africa are not homogenous and engage with their respective host environments in dynamic ways.
President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo on 16 October 2015 came at a critical time in the bilateral relations of the two countries, with South Africa having made significant investments in the DRC’s political process since the late 1990s.
After relatively peaceful elections in Guinea-Conakry returned outgoing President Alpha Conde to power last week in the first round of voting, another West African country - Côte d'Ivoire - is heading to watershed presidential elections on 25 October 2015.
SAIIA has just released a new working paper and short analysis on India-Africa relations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On 12 October, SAIIA, together with the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAS), held a dialogue on 'Policymaking and the Role of Think Tanks and the Research Community.'
Today, 5 October 2015, South African authorities are expected to submit their reasons for failing to arrest Sudanese President Al-Bashir when he attended the African Union Summit in June 2015. The furore that erupted has fuelled concerns about the place of human rights in South Africa’s foreign policy and highlights the importance for us to consider the nuances of the country’s foreign policy.
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