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Foreign policy (340)

The historic and shocking victory of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States of America was announced on 10 November 2016. Flummoxed by what is now being dubbed ‘the biggest political upset in modern history’, global markets shuddered, commentators reeled; and we all stood momentarily, mouths agape, letting the news set in.
Eight years ago the American people voted for “Yes, we can”, Barack Obama’s politics of hope. Eight years ago many across the world were celebrating the election of the first African-American president and the new politics that it might bring. But over the last eight years we have seen a rise in political extremes both in the US and across Europe.
At long last, the most bruising and sometimes farcical election in recent US history has come to a close. What seemed unthinkable to many just a year ago has happened and Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States. While markets have slumped in response, one thing is certain: nearly half of the US population is now faced with a president that they resolutely view as unfit to lead.
South Africans woke up on the morning of 21 October 2016 to the shocking announcement that the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana Mashabane, had submitted an instrument of withdrawal from the Rome Statute to the UN Secretary General in New York, two days before. This notification signals South Africa’s intention to withdraw from the Statute that established the International Criminal Court (ICC) in a year’s time.
A set of China-Africa policy essays – by practitioners, scholars and researchers – on issues around governance, peace and security, conservation and industrialisation has just been translated into Mandarin.
On 25 October 2015, Tanzanians elected John Pombe Magufuli as their president – nicknamed "The Bulldozer" for his self-assertive, brash leadership style, and his ability to push through his agenda. His policies have a strong internal focus, including minimising his foreign travel to save costs and asking government officials to do the same. His skipping of summits, has however raised questions about Tanzania possibly missing out on important international opportunities. Ahead of a visit to Rwanda, President Magufuli said, “I don’t like travelling abroad because I am fond of saving and you can't keep pace with other nations in equal…
SAIIA's Western Cape Branch and the Embassy of Japan cordially invite you to a Speaker's meeting to be addressed by Mr Yasushi Naito, the Consul of Japan to Cape Town. Further remarks and comments will be provided by Professor Scarlett Cornelissen, University of Stellenbosch and Mr Symerre Grey-Johnson, Head of Regional Infrastructure, Trade and Partnerships at NEPAD.
The Zimbabwean state has provided some of the biggest lessons in humility for political analysts in this century. Its government, headed by the indomitable Robert Mugabe, has failed to ‘definitively fail’ despite every warning since ZANU-PF war veterans began the land invasions that prompted the first wave of crisis in that country in 2001.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 150, July 2016
The 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) ran from 10 - 18 July 2016, under the theme ‘A Year of Human Rights, with Special Focus on the Rights of Women’. Towards the end of the week, heads of state sought to elect the new AU Commission chairperson. However, the summit closed without appointing a new head for the organisation. SAIIA researcher Aditi Lalbahadur spoke to CCTV about this inability to agree on a new chairperson and what it signifies for the continental body.
SAIIA's Eastern Cape Branch hosted a public seminar addressed by HE Arthur Lenk, Israel’s Ambassador to South Africa, on 'Israel and Africa: Neighbours with significant growth potential'. Event details Venue:  Premier Hotel Regent, Marine 1, Beach Front, East LondonDate:    12 July 2016Time:   17:30  
SAIIA Policy Insights No 32, June 2016 
Nearly nine months ago the third India-Africa Forum Summit, and the first that included all African states, was held with much fanfare in Delhi. There, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a range of measures, including extending lines of credit to African nations of up to $10 billion over the next five years, additional grant assistance of $600 million, and a commitment to help train more African peacekeepers in Africa and India.
In March 2016 President Barak Obama undertook a historic visit to Cuba, becoming the first American president to visit the island in 88 years. He has held talks with President Raul Castro in Havana. While diplomatic ties have been restored between the two countries, many issues remain unresolved.
SAIIA and the Embassy of Japan today hosted a Speaker’s Meeting addressed by His Excellency Ambassador Shigeyuki Hiroki, Ambassador of Japan to South Africa, on 'TICAD 6: Priorities for a Growing Partnership with Africa.'
President Jacob Zuma, accompanied by seven members of his executive and a dozen business leaders, undertook a high profile and widely commented state visit to Nigeria earlier this month. The visit, the first for President Zuma since President Muhamadu Buhari took power in peaceful and democratic elections in 2015, had been highly anticipated.
SAIIA and the Delegation of the European Union to South Africa hosted a Panel Discussion on ‘The EU and South Africa in Dialogue: Working towards a more inclusive world'.
A special issue of the South African Journal of International Affairs, entitled ‘South Africa’s world: Perspectives on diplomacy, international political economy and international law’, is now available online (Volume 22.4).
Thursday, 04 February 2016

Global Go To Think Tank Survey 2015

In his analysis of the most recent Global Go To Think Tank Survey, Professor Jim McGann of the University of Pennsylvania points to two key factors that can promote or inhibit the success of think tanks.
The African Union (AU) is convening its January 2016 summit under the guiding theme: ‘African year of human rights with a particular focus on the rights of Women’. Notwithstanding the themes, which in part focus the deliberations at the Summit, the headlines and the pressing issues facing the continent will always steal the thunder from these lofty themes. This current summit is no different.
In the context of a ‘normalising’ Chinese economy, that seeks to move from a manufacturing-centred economy to one driven by consumption and services, there are obviously concerns about the impact on Africa through a decrease in commodity exports (and income) to China. Yet such shifts also signal opportunity and perhaps changes in China’s approach towards the continent, to include ‘softer’ issues - like closer public interaction.
SAIIA invites members of the media to our special briefing on the sixth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), 'FOCAC VI : More of the same or signs of change?' on 19 November 2015.
President Jacob Zuma’s visit to the Democratic Republic of Congo on 16 October 2015 came at a critical time in the bilateral relations of the two countries, with South Africa having made significant investments in the DRC’s political process since the late 1990s.
After relatively peaceful elections in Guinea-Conakry returned outgoing President Alpha Conde to power last week in the first round of voting, another West African country - Côte d'Ivoire - is heading to watershed presidential elections on 25 October 2015.
SAIIA has just released a new working paper and short analysis on India-Africa relations under Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
On 12 October, SAIIA, together with the Global Public Policy Institute (GPPi) and the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAS), held a dialogue on 'Policymaking and the Role of Think Tanks and the Research Community.'
Today, 5 October 2015, South African authorities are expected to submit their reasons for failing to arrest Sudanese President Al-Bashir when he attended the African Union Summit in June 2015. The furore that erupted has fuelled concerns about the place of human rights in South Africa’s foreign policy and highlights the importance for us to consider the nuances of the country’s foreign policy.
For the outside visitor, whether first-timer or a more regular one, urban China repeatedly produces the same effect: surprise, then fascination, often followed by disbelief. From sizeable motorways packed with bumper-to-bumper traffic, to cranes populating the skyline with innumerable iterations of high-rise buildings, its cities are a direct reflection of China’s rapid (and on-going) development path. Large metropolises such as Beijing, Shanghai, or Guangzhou are not only engines of growth but also seen as showpieces of modernity where processes of destruction and construction are simultaneously underway.