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Foreign policy (332)

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.
(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…
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…
A new book on China-Mozambique relations, A Mambo e o Dragao: Relacoes Mocambique-China em Perspectiva, has just been published SAIIA and the Instituto de Estudos Sociais e Económicos (IESE), exploring the relationship between the Mozambican ‘mamba’ and the Chinese ‘dragon’.
When you walk the streets of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia, it feels like the city is one large building site. Anyone with some money to invest is clearly putting it into property in this growing urban centre. Construction can be a good sign in a developing country. Not only does it provide employment in the short term but infrastructure development supports the growth of other economic sectors in the long-run. While some may argue that property is a safe bet in an uncertain economy, the boom in construction in Ethiopia is mainly driven by infrastructure development objectives.
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…
In a speech made to the South African Institute of International Affairs at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, British MP and former Europe minister Denis MacShane made a riveting argument on the need for a triangular euro-atlantic community.
Council of Foreign Relations senior fellow Ambassador John Campbell recently released a policy innovation memorandum entitled, 'Zimbabwe: An Opportunity for Closer U.S.-South Africa Relations.' It is heartening to see analysts writing on topics they perceive as beneficial to closer relations between the United States and South Africa. Campbell, a former US Ambassador to Nigeria, makes a number of valid points, and in principle, the tone of his brief is correct. Both sides want an end to the political crisis. His main argument is the upcoming elections create an opportunity for Washington and Pretoria to forge a partnership on Zimbabwe that…
13 August 2012: Diplomatic relations between SA and US have been under scrutiny during the visit of US secretary of State Hillary Clinton to South Africa. Joining Karima Brown in studio on CNBC Africa's Political Exchange show to unpack both trade and diplomatic issues underpinning South Africa's relationship with the US is Dr Scot Firsing from Monash University, who is also a SAIIA Bradlow Fellow, and Tom Wheeler, a Research Associate with SAIIA.
07 August 2012: South Africa-US relations are under the spotlight as US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits South Africa. Her visit is emblematic of her commitment to the US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue which was launched in April 2010. Dr. Scott Firsing, a Bradlow Fellow with SAIIA, reviews the history of trade and diplomatic relations between the two countries, and offers some insights for the future on an episode of CNBC Africa's Beyond Markets show.
The Secretary of State of the United States of America is expected to visit South Africa from 4 to 7 August 2012. Little has been said, officially, about her engagements during the visit, but many expect the visit to further the aims of the bilateral US-South Africa Strategic Dialogue, launched in April 2010.
South Africa-US relations are under the spotlight as South Africa prepares for the visit of the global power's top diplomat by the end of the week. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be visiting South Africa from 4-7 August 2012 for the second time since her appointment by President Obama into this key position.
The closing of FOCAC V, the triennial ministerial meeting between China and Africa, marked yet another milestone in the continent’s most dynamic relationship. While the headlines rightly focused on Beijing’s offer of US$20 billion in loans to support Africa and the key role that outgoing President Hu Jintao played in fostering the FOCAC agenda, there were other significant aspects of the event that deserve as much attention.
The bilateral relationship between South Africa and Nigeria is often described as cordial. Nonetheless, the relationship has also sometimes been poorly managed, as was illustrated earlier this year by the diplomatic spat over the deportations that occurred in March 2012. While the matter was resolved between the governments’ relevant departments, this instance of public acrimony begs the question whether it is symptomatic of deeper concerns existent in the bilateral relationship.
China's unique economic growth story has attracted significant international and African media attention. With news that China has surpassed the US as Africa's largest trading partner in 2010, the focus has shifted on how this development might affect Africa's independence, growth and competitiveness.
"I believe that China-Africa relations will see more opportunities than challenges in the coming decade."
05 July 2012: Diplomats are sent abroad to represent their respective countries and to promote their national interests. They are expected to discharge their functions in a professional and dignified way. In the light of Zenani Mandela-Dlamini's appointment as ambassador to Argentina, political experts have warned of the dangers of cadre deployment when it comes to diplomacy.
South African Institute of International Affairs Invites you to a Speaker's Meeting to be addressed by the Ambassador of the People's Republic of China to the Republic of South Africa H.E. Mr TIAN Xuejun on FOCAC V and China-Africa RelationsVenue: Jan Smuts House
SAIIA Occasional Paper 117, June 2012
Since the early 2000s Turkey's foreign engagement has undergone profound changes. This has accompanied its growing economic strength at the very time when much of the developed world is in the midst of an economic crisis. Under the current foreign minister, Professor Ahmed Davuto?lu, Turkey has adopted a more assertive role in its region, but has also reached out beyond its immediate neighbourhood to Africa, Latin America and Asia, using all the soft power tools available to it. Turkey is a country to watch!
South African Institute of International Affairs invites you to a Speaker's Meeting to be addressed by Ambassador Tom Wheeler on "Turkey Rising: A New Global Player"Venue: Jan Smuts House
11 May 2012: Mozambique is on the cusp of a resource boom that is likely to revolutionise the way in which it deals with both its traditional partners and issues emerging in the region. SAIIA's South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme (SAFPAD) team recently undertook field research in the country to better understand what drives Mozambican foreign policy and to assess how the natural resources boom could impact on its relations with regional and global actors.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 114, March 2012
There's been a good discussion so far of South Africa's role at the African Union Summit in Addis Ababa this January, and its bid for Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma to take up the Chair of the AU Commission. It would come as no surprise if the controversy over the Chair's position eclipsed other activity at Addis. Also there in January were the Foreign Ministers of Australia and New Zealand.
Maritime piracy – and Somali piracy in particular – has arisen since the early 2000s as a major problem that not only plagues Africa, but constitutes a global dilemma. Despite the best efforts of the international community, pirate attacks have continued unabated. Kenya's relative stability and geostrategic location makes it a crucial actor to be involved in all aspects of counter-piracy in the region. How though, is this being articulated in Kenya's foreign policy?
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 107, January 2012
Address by US Consul General Erica J. Barks-Ruggles: "South Africa and the United States:  Common Challenges, Common Goals" The South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by US Consul General Erica J. Barks-Ruggles on "South Africa and the United States:  Common Challenges, Common Goals" at The Centre for the Book, 62 Queen Victoria Street, Gardens, Cape Town. Venue: The Centre for the Book, SAIIA Western Cape