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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.

Tuesday, 09 April 2013

South Africa's mission in CAR

South Africa has decided to withdraw its troops from the hapless mission in the Central African Republic (CAR), where 13 troops were killed by rebel forces. At the same time, South African Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula appeared before the Joint Standing Committee on Defence to answer Parliament’s questions on our involvement in the CAR. On 5 April 2013 Tjiurimo Hengari, head of SAIIA's South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme, talked to Summit TV about the latest developments. Click here to watch the video [Duration: 8min 19sec] This video is coutesy of ABN digital/ CNBC Africa.
When Mozambique’s ruling party, Frente de Libertação de Mozambique (Frelimo) announced the unanimous re-election of President Armando Guebuza as party president for a third term in October last year, the news was met with wide-spread surprise. This was because the Mozambican constitution sets a two term limit on the presidential office and the party head has traditionally also been the head of state.
Last week rung in the changes in China’s top leadership positions as Xi Jinping replaced Hu Jintao as China’s new president. President Xi is also the general secretary of China’s Communist Party and chairman of the Central Military Commission. In one of his first visits abroad as head of state, President Xi will be undertaking a state visit to South Africa on the margins of the upcoming BRICS Summit on 26-27 March 2013 in Durban. He will also be visiting Tanzania and the Republic of Congo during his African tour. China’s relationship with the African continent has grown significantly under…
Wireless communication and social media platforms have provided citizens with previously unimaginable possibilities to engage politically. For example, during the 2012 United States presidential elections, the Barack Obama campaign launched a smartphone app so users could register, donate and link up with like-minded supporters.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 137, February 2013
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 136, February 2013
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 134, January 2013
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 133, January 2013
Mangaung is consumed by the leadership succession debate. But while some aspects of the policy proposals going to Mangaung have been debated very publicly, others, such as international relations, have not. After all, jobs and the economy, not foreign policy, tend to be the deciding factor in most elections. Yet how a country tackles its global relations has a direct impact on these very real domestic issues.
After ill-tempered Franco-African relations under Nicolas Sarkozy, a new relationship is expected to emerge between France and Africa following François Hollande’s first visit to the continent as President of France in October 2012.
27 November 2012: Turkey has bagged two credit-rating upgrades despite back-to-back world debt crises. After being upgraded to investment grade for the first time in two decades, the economy has made the transition from perennial underachiever to regional superstar. SAIIA Tom Wheeler, Former SA Ambassador to Turkey, was invited on CNBC Africa's Open Exchange show to look at this emerging market. [Duration: 7min 16sec] Watch the video  
(Portuguese) China’s rising position in African affairs, from that of quiescence to open activism at the centre stage of events, is changing the dynamics of the international system.  Since the onset of the domestic reform process starting in 1978, Maoist faith and revolutionary altruism have given way to the consciously self-interested commercial entrepreneurs and advocates of forms of market capitalism. The emergence of China as Africa’s top trading partner and leading source of foreign direct investment in 2009, surpassing the United States and key European Union states still struggling in the aftermath of the global financial crisis, has sharpened the…
On 14 November the South African Institute of International Affairs co-hosted a public event with the Heinrich Böll Foundation (HBF), which unpacked the China-South Africa relationship. The event brought together an array of academics, journalists and policymakers from across Africa and abroad. It sought to make sense of the comprehensive strategic relationship between China and South Africa that has culminated since diplomatic relations officially established in 1998.
SAIIA’s South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme (SAFPAD) had the pleasure of hosting at Jan Smuts House well-known politician and former South African Ambassador to Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay, Ambassador Tony Leon, on Tuesday 6 November 2012.
7 November 2012: Barack Obama was elected to a second presidential term on Tuesday, defeating Republican Mitt Romney by reassembling the political coalition that boosted him to victory four years ago. By remaking himself from a hopeful united into a determined fighter for middle-class interests. Obama, the nation's first African American president, scored a decisive victory by stringing together a series of narrow ones. Of the election's seven major battlegrounds, he won at least six. Dr Scott Firsing, a SAIIA Bradlow Fellow and a senior lecturer in international studies at Monash University,  discusses the implications of a second term for…
South African Institute of International Affairs bcordially invites you to a Speaker's Meeting to be addressed by His Excellency Tony Leon former South African Ambassador to Argentina on 'South African Foreign Policy Abroad: An Insider's View' Date: Tuesday 6 November 2012Time: 18h00 for 18h15 to conclude by 20h00, followed by light refreshmentsVenue: Jan Smuts House, East Campus, Wits University, JohannesburgParking: Parking is available on both sides of Jan Smuts House and the surrounding area
5 November 2012: On the eve of the elections in the United States of America, SAIIA's Dr. Scott Firsing provides some insights on the possible future of US foreign policy, and particularly US relations with Africa, for Voice of Russia. [Duration: 6min 11sec] Watch the video
Mr Elman T Abdullayev, spokesman of the Azerbaijan Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Baku, adressed a meeting at SAIIA on 1 November on The Role of Energy for Azerbaijan, A Reliable and Emerging Energy Partner for Europe.
The South African Institute of International Affairs, The Institute for Security Studies, The Hannsseidel Foundation and the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung invite you to a Panel Discussion and Book Launch on "THE RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT – FROM EVASIVE TO RELUCTANT ACTION? THE ROLE OF GLOBAL MIDDLE POWERS" Date: Wednesday 31October 2012 Time: 18h00 for 18h15 to conclude by 20h00, followed by light refreshments Venue: Jan Smuts House, East Campus, Wits University, Johannesburg Parking: Parking is available on both sides of Jan Smuts House and the surrounding area
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 58, October 2012
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…