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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.

Reflecting the broadening of the BRICS agenda since the grouping was formed in 2009, the first ever meeting of BRICS environment ministers was held in Russia in April 2015. The ministers agreed to:
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.
Thursday, 02 July 2015

BRICS Materials 2015

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.
SAIIA and the University of the Witwatersrand cordially invite you to a public lecture to be addressed by Ciarán Devane, British Council CEO on 'Why soft power and cultural diplomacy matter.'
SAIIA Policy Briefing 138, June 2015
[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.
As I write this, President al-Bashir has left the country. He should never have risked coming and the South African government should have suspected that something like this might happen.
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.
Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Special Focus on Nigeria

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.
SAIIA Policy Insights No 16, May 2015
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.
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.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 213, March 2015
History is likely to regard Nigeria's just-concluded election as the defining one that finally put the country on an irreversible course of democratic maturation.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 132, March 2015
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation and officially its largest economy as of April 2014, is holding presidential and legislative elections on 28 March 2015, which bear in equal measure the hallmarks of continuity and potential ruptures.
Global energy consumption will increase rapidly in the next decade. The current core energy production sites in the world economy are unlikely to be able to supply this increasing demand. A new book, containing chapters from SAIIA researchers Dr Ana Alves and Dr Agathe Maupin, looks at Sub-Saharan Africa's potential energy resources in this light.
In last October's presidential and legislative election, the fifth round of democratic elections to be held in the country since they first took place in 1994, Mozambicans voted Filipe Nyusi of the governing FRELIMO party into power. The former defence minister will be inaugurated on Thursday 15 January 2015.