The Forum on China Africa Co-operation (FOCAC), launched in October 2000 in Beijing as a tri-annual collective dialogue platform for co-operation between China and Africa, is a signal of the dynamic and expanding nature of China-Africa relations.
During state visits to Kazakhstan and Indonesia in later 2013, President Xi Jinping outlined China’s vision of a ‘One Belt One Road’ – running overland from China to Eastern Europe – and a complementary Maritime Silk Road that stretches from Southeast China across the Indian Ocean to Dar es Salaam and onward around the Horn of Africa to the Mediterranean. While this vision remains under development, the engagement is intended as a multi-pronged diplomatic, economic and strategic initiative - as well as one that encourages closer cross-cultural contact – that will intensify China’s relations with Africa. Indeed this raises questions…
Ahead of the UN Conference of Parties (COP 21) meeting in December 2015, which it is hoped will deliver a universal, legally binding climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol by 2020, Paris is hosting an International Scientific Conference (ISC) from 7–10 July.
Leaders from the BRICS countries - Brazil, China, India, Russia, and South Africa - will meet on 8-9 July 2015 in the Russian city of Ufa. Many key developments are expected to arise from the Summit, which takes place as Russia’s relationship with the United States and its European allies worsens, while its ties to BRICS appear to have become closer.
Some five weeks ago I attended the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Academic Forum in Moscow as part of the South African delegation. The discussions held there provide interesting insights into the future direction of the BRICS group.
[Updated 29 June 2015] Preceding this month's 25th African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg a meeting of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security committed again to fully operationalise an African Standby Force (ASF) by December this year. The ASF has been ten years in the planning, and in that time has failed to establish a rapid response tool to deal with conflict on the continent.
On Monday 22 June 2015, SAIIA and Chatham House hosted the launch of a report by Alex Vines, Director for Area Studies and International Law, on 'Mozambique to 2018: Managers, Mediators, and Magnates'.
SAIIA today hosted the Korean Foreign Ministry, to discuss the outcomes of the Fifth MIKTA (Mexico, Indonesia, Republic of Korea, Turkey and Australia) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting held in Seoul, the Republic of Korea, on 22 May 2015.
A few weeks ago, forces loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza stymied a coup d’état in Burundi. A few months earlier, last October to be precise, the exact opposite occurred when an army officer in Burkina Faso, Lt Col. Isaac Zida, dislodged in a bloodless coup d’état West Africa’s former strong-man and president of that country, Blaise Compaoré.
Following peaceful national elections in March, General Muhammadu Buhari will this week be inaugurated as Nigeria’s new president. On 29 May 2015 Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation will formally have a new leader.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, and one of the 12 fastest growing economies in the world is heading to a general election on 24 May 2015. There is very little to suggest that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which came to power after a bloody civil war in 1991 should have much to worry about.
The BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Academic Forum in Moscow took place from 21-23 May 2015. SAIIA's chief executive Elizabeth Sidiropoulos was invited to take part as a member of the South African delegation.
SAIIA and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), jointly held a Public Lecture on 20 May 2015 addressed by the Honourable Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Mr Luwellyn Landers.
Aditi Lalbahadur, Rudolf du Plessis and Neuma Grobbelaar
The South Atlantic Zone refers to a grouping of countries from Latin America and Africa that fall on the littoral border of the South Atlantic Ocean. This region holds significant strategic and economic potential for countries from both regions. Traditionally, South Africa’s regional foreign policy is classified as either ‘Latin American’ or ‘African’. However, an approach that conceives of South Atlantic Zone countries as a single entity offers an opportunity to bridge this conceptual and geographic divide while providing a framework for deeper multilateral co-operation.
In South Africa, it is commonplace to receive a ‘Key to Freedom’ on your 21st birthday. To the recipient, it signifies entry into adulthood and with it the autonomy and ‘freedom’ to forge an independent path. For the parents who bestow this key, it is a conferring of trust in their child to accept the mantle of adulthood with maturity.
This year is seen as an important step towards implementing Africa’s future development plans. With the MDGs drawing to a close, the post-2015 development agenda for the continent is framed around Agenda 2063.
How are states employing cultural diplomacy in an increasingly interconnected world in shaping understanding between societies while promoting preferential co-operation between nations? Observers of China-South Africa relations will have noticed the increasing reference to the ‘China Year in South Africa’ by officials on both sides.