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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.

As Malawi stands poised to assume the chairmanship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in August 2013, it does so amidst a fractious border dispute with Tanzania.
The upcoming summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on the 17 and 18 August 2013 is an annual regional meeting that brings together 15 member states. SAIIA speaks to Aditi Lalbahadur who is researcher with SAIIA's South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme.
Even before Zimbabweans went to the polls on 31 July 2013, the Southern African Development Community’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security raised a litany of concerns about the elections.SADC requested that the election be postponed in order to allow reforms as provided for in the Global Political Agreement to be effected.
If there is one thing that is different to the 2008 Zimbabwean elections, it is that the 2013 election has a new ‘candidate’. His name is Baba Jukwa. The anonymous social media icon and commentator, portrayed as a cartoon of an old man and coined ‘the Julian Assange of Zimbabwe’, has attracted the world’s attention.
This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), but it is more fitting to reflect upon the progress of its successor, the African Union (AU). The AU, created by the Constitutive Act of 2000, is equipped with more meaningful institutions, carries a stronger mandate, and has a more appropriate framework to intervene in armed conflicts than its predecessor. Indeed, the formation of the AU has resulted in major shifts in African policy, away from norms of non-intervention to an activist view of collective responsibility.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEDear Editors, 29 July 2013 SAIIA Media Alert: SAIIA expert analysis and commentary on the Zimbabwean election  Zimbabwean citizens go to the polls this week for what has been called one of the most important elections in Zimbabwe’s history since independence. President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) are expected to contest a tough election; the outcome of which has repercussions for South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
The Honourable Tisetso Magama, Member of Parliament and Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on International Relations and Cooperation, addressed a captive audience at SAIIA’s headquarters on 25 July 2013 with his speech examining South Africa’s foreign policy priorities and challenges.
Strategic bilateral trade relations and job creation topped the agenda at the 6th South Africa - European Union summit in Pretoria on 18 July 2013. The summit noted that over the last 10 years, EU investors accounted for three quarters of foreign direct investment and the block remained South Africa's biggest trading partner.
South Africa and the European Union meet in Pretoria today  for the 6th annual SA-EU summit. While this meeting is another step in strengthening the strategic partnership between the two, SA’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, said on Tuesday, that of particular importance this year are the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) negotiations between the EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP).
Since the dawn of democracy in South Africa, and the conclusion of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA) in 1999, the relationship between South Africa and the European Union has grown incrementally to reach the level of a strategic partnership in 2007.
On 13 July 2013 the fragility of regional security in Southern Africa came to the fore when the Southern African Development Community’s Ministerial Committee of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met in Tanzania to discuss the worrying developments in Zimbabwe and Madagascar.
United States President Barack Obama’s speech was well-calibrated for an audience of university students, and harkened back not only to the words of Nelson Mandela at the time of his release from prison but also to those of Robert F Kennedy and a speech delivered on the same spot in a completely different South Africa, one in the throes of Apartheid, in 1966.
SAIIA cordially invites you to a Speaker’s Meeting to be addressed by Honorable Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim Department of International Relations and Cooperation, Republic of South Africa on 'Celebrating 19 years of South Africa’s Foreign Policy: Milestones and Challenges'
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 68, June 2013
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 67, June 2013
From 1 – 3 June 2013, Yokohama plays host to the Fifth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD V), a high-level exchange between Japan and Africa which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
On 27 and 28 May 2013, the South African Institute of International Affairs together with the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses hosted a dialogue on “India and South Africa: Sharing Experiences on the Regional and Global Stage”.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 66, May 2013
On 21 May 2013 SAIIA and the University of the Witwatersrand co-hosted a visit by the Canadian Governor General, His Excellency, The Right Honourable, David Johnston for a keynote address and discussion. The event was held to discuss the importance of Canada-South Africa Relations on the occasion of His Excellency's State Visit to South Africa. Indeed, the bonds between South Africa and Canada run deep and bilateral cooperation dates as far back as the 1920's.
One of the highlights of the upcoming 21st Summit of the African Union (AU) is the 50th anniversary of the founding in 1963 of its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) on 25 May 2013. This occasion will be celebrated under the theme of ‘Pan Africanism and the African Rennaissance’, providing a fitting moment to reflect on Africa’s achievements and shortcomings under the aegis of the OAU since 1963, and the AU since 2002.
On 10 May 2013, SAIIA co-hosted an event with the Embassy of Japan in South Africa, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the University of Pretoria. It was an opportunity to reflect on the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), a high-level exchange between Japan and Africa which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.
Since the advent of democracy in South Africa in 1994, Pretoria’s relationship with Nigeria has been a mix of rivalry, tension and cooperation. The pattern of interaction has oscillated from President Mandela’s principled stance against General Sani Abacha’s dictatorship in the late 1990s, to close and effective engagement between Presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo during the last decade. Under Presidents Jacob Zuma and Goodluck Jonathan, relations reached a low-point with the two continental powers unable to reach agreement on the chairmanship of the African Union Commission in 2012.
The victory of Abdoulaye Wade during the presidential elections of 2000 marked an important turning point in the foreign policy of Senegal.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 142, April 2013
When the bodies of United States army rangers were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu in 1993, American public opinion could not comprehend why their compatriots had to die for Somalia. Somalia was seen to be far from the ‘American national interest’. In the wake of domestic pressure and the debate about the national interest, Somalia marked a turning point for American involvement in African conflicts. Similarly, the death of 13 South African soldiers on 23 March 2013 in battle between Damara and Bangui in the Central African Republic (CAR) left South African public opinion in a state of incomprehension.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 141, April 2013
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 140, April 2013
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 139, April 2013