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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.

South African Institute of International Affairs in cooperation with the Embassy of Switzerland cordially invites you to a roundtable discussion to be addressed by Swiss State Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Yves Rossier on "Switzerland's approach to promoting peace in Africa at the multilateral and regional levels". Date: Wednesday 10 October 2012Time: 16:45 for 17:00 followed by light refreshments to conclude by 18:30Venue: The Townhouse Hotel, 60 Corporation Str,Cape Town (diagonally opp Parliament)Parking: Available above the venue in Plein Park parkade (enter from Corporation Street)
Monday, 08 October 2012

The situation in Libya

9 October 2012: Libya's parliament ousted the country's new prime minister in a no-confidence vote on Sunday, the latest blow to hopes that political factions could agree on a government charged with restoring stability after last year's civil war. Mustafa Abushagur was the first prime minister to be elected after the 2011 overthrow of dictator Moammar Gaddafi. Yekaterina Kudashkina from the global broadcaster Voice of Russia speaks to SAIIA researcher Tom Wheeler to hear his analysis of the prospects for Libya's future, in light of these recent developments. [Duration: 9min 14sec] Watch the video
7 October 2012: The weekly analytical show Talk Africa on CCTV Africa turns their attention to the topic: "Have Forty Years of Electoral Democracy in Africa produced Accountable Leadership?" Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, interviewed in Arusha by the show, says that overall there have been overall challenges with leadership, even though pockets of very good leadership have emerged in Africa. Providing insight into this debate is SAIIA's Dr. Tjiurimo Hengari, head of the South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers programme, who has extensively studied this subject. [Duration: 29min 12sec] Watch the video
South African president Jacob Zuma has aggressively put UN reform at the heart of his address to the UN general assembly calling for change in the governance of the global body. This call carries support in the global South including the African continent. International relations expert Tom Wheeler, a SAIIA Research Associate, was invited to appear on CNBC Africa's Political Exchange show to look at the prospects for reform of the United Nations. [Duration: 14min 17sec] Watch the video part 1 [Duration: 11min 23sec] Watch the video part 2
There have been mounting concern about the state of relations between superpowers China and Japan, particularly in light of the latest spat which centres around small islands off the coast of Japan. On 21 September 2012, Tom Wheeler, Research Associate with SAIIA, was invited to speak on Summit TV's News Leader programme about the situation and its broader implications, particularly the potential impact upon South African trade. [Duration: 8min 09sec] Watch the video
Earlier this year, CCTV built its first international broadcast hub in Nairobi. China’s state-run news media are growing at a fast pace around the world — particularly in Africa — at a time when broadcasting and newspaper companies based in America and Europe are scaling back their international operations. The expansions are part of a campaign to improve China’s image around the world, and bolster its influence in areas where Beijing is economically and politically active.
The Fifth European Union (EU)-South Africa summit (17-18 September) takes place against a backdrop of heightened domestic and international turbulence. In the EU’s backyard, escalating tensions in North Africa and the Middle East, from the impasse in Syria to the rising anger among Muslims about a film insulting the Prophet, play themselves out in a European economic malaise that still has to resolve itself. In South Africa, the Marikana mine massacre, the spread of unrest to other mines, and the demagoguery employed as a tool for political gain, have placed this country on a knife’s edge in the run-up to…
South Africa has focused over the last few years on enhancing its regional and international profile. Indeed, its accomplishments in holding two almost back-to-back terms on the United Nations Security Council; its accession to the BRICS grouping; the election of Dr Dlamini-Zuma as Chairperson of the African Union Commission; and its hosting of high-level international events such as COP17 have been illustrative of its success.
12 September 2012: Somalia's Parliament elected a new president of the country's fledgling government on September 10th, a move that members of the international community say is a key step toward the east African nation's transition from a war-torn failed state to a nation with an effective government. Lisa Otto, a researcher with SAIIA who has studied piracy in the Gulf of Aden, was invited to appear on CNBC Africa's Political Exchange show. Along with fellow panellist Professor Faried Essack from the University of Johannesburg, she discusses whether this optimism is matched by political and security realities on the ground…
12 September 2012: Somalia's Parliament elected a new president of the country's fledgling government on September 10th, a move that members of the international community say is a key step toward the east African nation's transition from a war-torn failed state to a nation with an effective government.
In his public address at Jan Smuts House on 3 September, the Deputy Minister of International Affairs and Cooperation, the Honorable Ebrahim Ebrahim asserted the primacy the South African government places on the negotiated settlement of disputes in the attainment of sustainable peace and security on the continent and elsewhere.
South African Institute of International Affairs cordially invites you to a Speaker’s Meeting to be addressed by Honourable Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South AfricaVenue: Jan Smuts House
In a speech made to the South African Institute of International Affairs at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, British MP and former Europe minister Denis MacShane made a riveting argument on the need for a triangular euro-atlantic community.
Council of Foreign Relations senior fellow Ambassador John Campbell recently released a policy innovation memorandum entitled, 'Zimbabwe: An Opportunity for Closer U.S.-South Africa Relations.' It is heartening to see analysts writing on topics they perceive as beneficial to closer relations between the United States and South Africa. Campbell, a former US Ambassador to Nigeria, makes a number of valid points, and in principle, the tone of his brief is correct. Both sides want an end to the political crisis. His main argument is the upcoming elections create an opportunity for Washington and Pretoria to forge a partnership on Zimbabwe that…
The Centre for Africa’s International Relations, the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) and the office of the Dean of Humanities of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) host a roundtable on Dr Dlamini-Zuma’s election: The future of African integration and South Africa’s foreign policy. Venue: Jan Smuts House
The outcome of the Busan High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness was significant because it sought to bridge the divide between North–South and South–South co-operation, notwithstanding the existing divergent views each side held on the issue. Busan responded to the changing development landscape, in which South–South cooperation was becoming increasingly important, by agreeing to establish a new Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation that would also see the phasing out of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness. A new book called 'Development Co-operation and Emerging Powers: New Partners or Old Patterns' explores the development policies of Brazil, China, India, Mexico…
There has been an explosion of attention given to China's interests and activities in Africa and on the wide spectrum of Chinese actors involved in countries across the continent, but the terms and implications of the China-Angola partnership remain unclear.
13 August 2012: Diplomatic relations between SA and US have been under scrutiny during the visit of US secretary of State Hillary Clinton to South Africa. Joining Karima Brown in studio on CNBC Africa's Political Exchange show to unpack both trade and diplomatic issues underpinning South Africa's relationship with the US is Dr Scot Firsing from Monash University, who is also a SAIIA Bradlow Fellow, and Tom Wheeler, a Research Associate with SAIIA.
With a two-decade long history of instability, upheaval and violence, Somalia has become the poster child of the failed state. With the end of the country’s transition in sight on August 20, the country should now find itself on the precipice of democracy. Instead, it is no nearer functional statehood than it was in 2004 when the Transitional Federal Government (TGF) was established under the leadership of Abdullahi Yusuf Ahmed.
07 August 2012: South Africa-US relations are under the spotlight as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits South Africa. Her visit is emblematic of her commitment to the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue which was launched in April 2010. Dr. Scott Firsing, a Bradlow Fellow with SAIIA, reviews the history of trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, and offers some insights for the future on an episode of CNBC Africa's Beyond Markets show.
Chapter contributed by Elizabeth Sidiropoulos: Emerging ‘Donor’, Geopolitical Actor: South Africa in the Global Terrain An active participant in the various global debates and motivated by a desire to address global inequalities and power imbalances in rule-making, South Africa seeks to balance its domestic imperatives with an enlightened developmentally-minded foreign policy where Africa is the priority. Since 1994 South Africa has initiated many activities that may be described as development cooperation. However, with the exception of the African Renaissance Fund (ARF), it has lacked an overarching architecture for its assistance, which has been fragmented among various departments and agencies with…
The Secretary of State of the United States of America is expected to visit South Africa from 4 to 7 August 2012. Little has been said, officially, about her engagements during the visit, but many expect the visit to further the aims of the bilateral US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, launched in April 2010.
South Africa-US relations are under the spotlight as South Africa prepares for the visit of the global power's top diplomat by the end of the week. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be visiting South Africa from 4-7 August 2012 for the second time since her appointment by President Obama into this key position.
SAIIA CLOSED ROUNDTABLE: "New World Energy Trends after the Fukushima Accident" presented by Mr Nobua Tanaka, former Executive Director of the International Energy Agency.Venue: Jan Smuts House
The closing of FOCAC V, the triennial ministerial meeting between China and Africa, marked yet another milestone in the continent’s most dynamic relationship. While the headlines rightly focused on Beijing’s offer of US$20 billion in loans to support Africa and the key role that outgoing President Hu Jintao played in fostering the FOCAC agenda, there were other significant aspects of the event that deserve as much attention.
The bilateral relationship between South Africa and Nigeria is often described as cordial. Nonetheless, the relationship has also sometimes been poorly managed, as was illustrated earlier this year by the diplomatic spat over the deportations that occurred in March 2012. While the matter was resolved between the governments’ relevant departments, this instance of public acrimony begs the question whether it is symptomatic of deeper concerns existent in the bilateral relationship.
The 19th summit of the African Union (AU) from 9-16 July in Addis Ababa will in all likelihood not be ordinary, as it will mark a decade since the transformation of the Organisation for African Unity (OAU) into the AU in 2002 in Durban, South Africa. Crucially, ten years on, the July summit theme ‘Boosting Intra-African Trade’ captures a new agenda and the importance of economic growth and trade integration as essential aspects in the continent’s integration in the global economy.