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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 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.
China's unique economic growth story has attracted significant international and African media attention. With news that China has surpassed the US as Africa's largest trading partner in 2010, the focus has shifted on how this development might affect Africa's independence, growth and competitiveness.
"I believe that China-Africa relations will see more opportunities than challenges in the coming decade."
05 July 2012: Diplomats are sent abroad to represent their respective countries and to promote their national interests. They are expected to discharge their functions in a professional and dignified way. In the light of Zenani Mandela-Dlamini's appointment as ambassador to Argentina, political experts have warned of the dangers of cadre deployment when it comes to diplomacy.
South African Institute of International Affairs Invites you to a Speaker's Meeting to be addressed by the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of South Africa H.E. Mr TIAN Xuejun on FOCAC V and China-Africa RelationsVenue: Jan Smuts House
The rising threat of piracy along Africa's eastern coastline was brought home to many South Africans after the recent rescue and release of a South African yachting couple, Bruno Pelizzari and Debbie Calitz, following 20 months of captivity by pirates.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 48, June 2012
SAIIA Occasional Paper 117, June 2012
South African Institute of International Affairs invites you to a roundtable discussion to be addressed by Professor Jan Wouter on "Libya and the Arab Spring – R2P, human rights and the role of regional organisations"Venue: Jan Smuts House