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SAIIA’s research agenda focuses on the external engagement of South Africa and Africa with the rest of the world - with a view to countering the continent's marginal status in global political and economic affairs; furthering good governance, peace and stability in the region; and ensuring that Africa is placed on a long-term, sustainable growth path.

SAIIA achieves these objectives by doing solid, forward-looking policy-orientated research on issues of concern to the continent. This facilitates the building of research capacity in South Africa and the region, provides a platform for informed debate about policy options for African policymakers and other stakeholders, and enables the Institute to make input into policymaking on issues of concern to Africa. Our research agenda is strongly policy-orientated and is clustered according to both thematic and country/region-specific themes.

South African Foreign Policy & African Drivers
Exploring South Africa’s norm-setting role in the region, its regional diplomatic and peacekeeping initiatives and the potential for bilateral and trilateral co-operation with key African states and external partners.

Governance and APRM Programme
Exploring key governance and accountability challenges at national, regional and continental levels through the prisms of the African Peer Review Process and international governance standards

Governance of Africa's Resources Programme
Exploring key governance and accountability challenges as it pertains to the role of communities, the media, political parties, parliaments and governments in the sustainable governance of Africa’s resources.

Economic Diplomacy
Exploring the economic diplomacy options open to South Africa and Africa at country, continental and multilateral levels with special attention to trade and investment policies and the implications of the financial crisis for Africa.

Global Powers & Africa
Exploring emerging relations between Africa and rising powers such as China, India and Brazil, and the more established relationships of the United States and the European Union with Africa, so as to inform African policy formulation towards them. The China and Africa Project was a key research area under this programme.

SAIIA General
This section is for general SAIIA material which does not fall into one of the five research programmes above.