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North Africa (190)

The South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Dr Petrus de Kock speaking on 'Upheaval in the Nile Basin: a tour from Lake Albert, through Southern Sudan, to Cairo' at The Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town on Tuesday 7 June 2011 at 5:00 for 5:30 pm
Armed conflicts, whether big or small, create confusion as social life is disrupted by acts of organised violence. Libya’s rapid descent from street protests to armed conflict caused the country’s cities to deteriorate into blown-out ghost towns in a matter of weeks. Under conditions of conflict where belligerents lob grenades, fire bullets and bombard each other with artillery shells, the flow of information is also disrupted. It was amid the dust and bullet-ridden confusion of Libya’s battlefronts that South African born photographer, Anton Hammerl, disappeared.
It is nearly four months since the rebellion started in Libya and it seems that the intervention sanctioned by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has reached a stalemate. Muammar Gaddafi is still in power and while the rebels have kept their ground they have not made a significant advance on Tripoli.Thousands of civilians have lost their lives and the cost of the military campaign to the United States alone is said to be in excess of $750 million. Could the governments that voted in favour of Resolution 1973 have foreseen the stalemate and the protracted nature of the campaign?…
As published by The New Age, 5 April 2011 Many countries north of the Mediterranean are battling with significant problems. These will no doubt speed up the process of the movement of economic power from West to East, towards the emerging powers of Asia, and other nations poised to seize opportunities for trade and local development.
Geopolitics concerns the projection of power and influence across regional or global political-economic and social spaces. For this reason, the Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) decision to dispatch Saudi Arabian armed forces, and police from the UAE to Bahrain, does not bode well for the budding flowers of democracy trying bloom in the region.
As published by The New Age on 11 March 2011 There is no doubt that the level of discontent around the world is rising to dangerous levels. Maybe that is what their leaders think, but it is clear, to use a contemporary term, revolution has gone viral. Not only are social networking and cellphone technology helping ordinary people, especially the youth, to arrange and coordinate protest movements and events, but these same technologies are spreading the word about what is happening in country after country.
As a new wave of democratisation breaks on Africa’s northern shores, the common goals of the Maghreb’s people are hitting up against starkly different types of state. The situation in Libya is different from Egypt and Tunisia is two respects. First, is the ruthless personality of Libya’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
As published by The New Age, 22 February 2011 For the past weeks the unfolding drama in the Middle East has dominated news reports and media commentary to exclusion of almost every other issue. And there is still no end in sight. As events reach a certain interim stage of resolution in one country, attention moves to another. Even as pundits attribute the problems in one country to a particular cause, the popular uprisings in another country seem to have a different cause.
While the world’s attention is focused on scenes of barricades in central Cairo, the political and media spotlight has finally come to illuminate the social crisis underlying the Arab worlds’ dictatorial regimes. In 2008, Queen Rania of Jordan warned that unemployed youth in the Arab world constitute a ‘ticking time bomb’ which, if not diffused, could lead to social unrest. She was correct, if events in Tunisia and Egypt are anything to go by.
As published by The New Age, 8 February 2011 The world media have been so focused on the story evolving in Egypt over the past two weeks that most missed the announcement of the name of the new President of the African Union. What were the leaders of Africa thinking about when they elected President Teodoro Obiang Nguema of Equatorial Guinea as incoming AU President?  We are told that a mechanical rotation of the presidency through the various regions of Africa is observed. It was Central Africa’s turn and the best the Central African region could come up with was…
As published in The New Age, 27 January 2011 Tunisia is not a country that until recently featured on the pages of South African newspapers, much less in screaming headlines. It is best known to the outside world as a Mediterranean beach resort for northern Europeans among the ruins of historic Carthage.
As originally published in Growth Magazine, Feb/March, 2009www.growth.co.za During the summit of the African Union, held in Addis Ababa on February 1 - 3, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi, president of Libya, was elected Chairman of the Union's Assembly (summit) for the ensuing year. This is the first time he has served as head of either the African Union or its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity. What is the significance of this move and what are its likely consequences?
The South African Institute of International Affairs (Western Cape) invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Professor Geoff Brundrit on "The Impact of Sea Level Rise on the Great Harbour Cities of Africa - Alexandria, Lagos and Cape Town"
In sub-Saharan Africa the effects of the economic recession on foreign aid and policy implementation are being felt acutely. In June the APRM programme released a report by George Katito and Faten Aggad entitled ‘Demanding good governance in Africa: Strategies for effective policy advice’ at a roundtable discussion aimed to investigate how best NGOs and civil society organisations might survive the economic recession.
par Professor Ahmed MohiddinSAIIA Occasional Paper, No 1, May 2008 (French)Download - French [.pdf]
SAIIA Occasional Paper, No 28, March 2009 (English)
The controversial negotiations over trade agreements between the European Union and regional blocs in Africa are challenging governments to rethink the best way of promoting economic integration across the continent. The impact of the agreements will depend on whether governments put their efforts into consolidating existing regional communities, or allow grand plans for integration to become surrogates for action.
Friday, 06 February 2009

G20 Summit Workshop

March 2-3, 2009; The Financial Crisis and G20 Summit: Decoding (South) African Positions A workshop hosted by the South African Institute of International Affairs SAIIA, with the support of the Canadian High commission in South Africa, organized a workshop on the financial crisis and G20 summitry. This workshop arises from the G20 leaders' summit in Washington on 15 November 2008 which produced various far-reaching proposals for short and medium term financial regulatory reforms, and reform of multilateral institutions responsible for regulating global finance notably the International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank and Financial Stability Forum.  The objective of the workshop was…
Wednesday, 04 February 2009

2008 APRM Conference Photos

A selection of photos from the conference:  
This review first appeared in the South African Journal of International Affairs, Volume 15, Number 1, November 2008 The African Peer Review Mechanism: Lessons from the Pioneers, by Ross Herbert and Steven Gruzd, Johannesburg, South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA), 2008, 424 pp., R220 (paperback), ISBN no. 1-919969-60-8
Guest column, as published in www.allafrica.com The election of Barack Obama as 44th President of the United States is celebrated as a milestone in several, well known respects – not only will he assume office as the first president of color – but as an underdog who entered the race for the White House with a slim resume, an unfamiliar name pitted against an established political brand and a political novice whose prospects of raising enough money to meet up to the task were not extremely bright at the starting line. 
For more than a decade now, Africa has been trying to address its developmental and political problems through an approach favouring home-grown initiatives.
This is an unedited paper which forms part of a larger body of work on the VoxEU.org website. Click here to view the full set of articles. There is a saying in Africa which goes: "when the elephants fight, the grass gets trampled". This accurately depicts the fallout from the current global economic disorder since it is clear that whilst Africans had very little to do with the makings of the crisis, we will suffer from it. This will manifest in two broad ways: the direct economic impacts, and growing regulatory protectionism. The former will occur through three channels:
The Devils' excrement, or black gold? There are no neutral views on oil. Its exploitation has been the source of fabulous wealth and untold misery.
More countries have a firmer grasp of the extent of the epidemic - in 2004 only 102 countries maintained consistent records, whereas in 2008 45 more have better, more rigorous information about the epidemic.
The State of Governance in Africa: Formal Rules, Informal Realities and Strategies for Change 18-20 November 2008 Birchwood Hotel The quality of governance is a key factor in African crises - from Zimbabwe to Congo to Kenya. Indeed, the ousting of President Thabo Mbeki and subsequent creation of a new political party in South Africa reflect problems of governance.
The spectacular growth of emerging economies, especially China and India, had brought major hope among commentators/analysts that the developing world's growth prospects would not be severely affected by the current financial crisis in the US and most of the developed world. Sino-Africa trade had reached $72 billion in the first eight months of 2008, a 62% increase from the previous year.
The Governance of Africa's Natural Resources 'Towards New Thinking and Effective Policy' Date: Wednesday 26th & Thursday 27th November 2008 Venue: Movenpick Royal Palm Hotel, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania Draft Programme:
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