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Governance, Democracy and Accountability (771)

The extraction of natural resources in Africa, such as oil, gas, diamonds and gold, is a critically important issue for the development and self-reliance of the continent. We spoke to the head of the Governance of Africa's Resources Programme at SAIIA, Oladiran Bello, about measures to ensure that revenues from this booming industry can be transparently and effectively managed.
2013 was marked by two important anniversaries related to governance in Africa, with the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) celebrating its tenth year in existence and the African Union (AU) marking fifty years since the establishment of its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity. Both events were celebrated at the May 2013 AU Summit.
On New Year’s Eve 2014 over 100,000 Ukrainians attempted to set the Guinness World Record for the largest number of people simultaneously singing their national anthem. While such activities normally symbolise national unity, Ukraine remains as divided as ever. The former Soviet republic, independent since 1991 and with a population of 46 million, is faced with a choice of aligning itself closer to the European Union (EU) or Russia. The country’s unique geo-political location between the two actors makes it a highly desirable of area of influence for both.
The Marikana massacre in August 2012 forever altered the South African mining industry, particularly in the way labour unions and mining companies relate to each other. We spoke to SAIIA Research Fellow, Ross Harvey, about the state of the industry today.
Tata left us on 5 December 2013, a few months before we celebrate 20 years of South Africa's democracy, and hold our fifth democratic elections. Since then my memories of a February, 24 years ago, in 1990 have flooded back to me.
Contrary to the urgent calls for the reform of the Kimberley Process (KP), its year-end plenary took place in Johannesburg from 19 to 22 November 2013 without a breakthrough on the pressing reform questions. The outgoing chair, South Africa, will now handover to China in early 2014, with Angola in line to take the helm in 2015. Neither successor is likely to push hard on the reform front, underlying the extent to which South Africa’s own tenure had been a missed opportunity.
World Fisheries Day, celebrated each year on 21 November 2013, comes at a time when the South African Parliament is considering legislation that many feel will finally give small-scale fisheries a rightful stake in the country’s marine resources.
After successive postponements and delays since a coup d’état in 2009, 33 candidates contested the presidential elections in Madagascar on 25 October 2013. Counting of the votes has not been completed and results are trickling in, with both the Malagasy and the international community waiting for a result that could potentially restore democratic governance in that archipelago.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 77, November 2013
The South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, and Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung invite you to a public seminar to be addressed by Prof Paul Johannes Kevenhörster, on "An Assessment of the Political Developments in Germany and South Africa post 1990 with special reference to the adopted electoral systems."
15 October 2013 marked a year in office for Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma as Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC). While her election in July 2012 was a source of division among African Union (AU) member states, her reputation as a capable leader signalled a new dawn for the AU. South Africa, which sponsored her candidacy to the chagrin of key regional powers, including Nigeria, used her competencies to articulate implicit weaknesses in the AUC, while mobilising for high expectations regarding the future of the AU.
The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) has the potential to dramatically change the governance landscape on the continent. However, 10 years after its formation, the APRM has not fully captured the interest of African citizens and media. Why is this the case?
Wednesday, 09 October 2013

Should the AU pull out of the ICC?

The head of SAIIA’s Governance and African Peer Review Mechanism Programme (GAP), Steven Gruzd, speaks to PowerFM’s Chris Vick about the African Union’s special summit (on 12 October 2013) to discuss Africa's continued involvement in the International Criminal Court. Joining Steven on the panel is Tiseke Kasambala from Human Rights Watch.Click on the PowerFM player above to listen.
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 74, September 2013
In 2013, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic mark twenty years of their independence. The negotiated split of former Czechoslovakia on 31 December 1992 remains an example of peaceful conflict resolution. Both countries continued on the path of political and economic transformation after the fall of the totalitarian communist regime in 1989, on the basis of the reforms undertaken in the early 1990s in Czechoslovakia.
Public submissions to parliament on the revised Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Amendment Bill (MPRD-AB), originally gazetted in December 2012, were due last Friday September 6, 2013. It is hard to overstate the extent to which the final incarnation of this Bill will affect South Africa’s economic wellbeing.
In this podcast, SAIIA looks at the upcoming national elections in the Kingdom of Swaziland. The first round of elections began against the backdrop of continuing economic difficulties in Swaziland. The final round of parliamentary elections will take place on 20 September 2013 and King Mswati III, Africa's last absolute monarch, will subsequently appoint a new government. 
South African Institute of International Affairs invites you to a roundtable discussion to be addressed by Alex Vines, speaking on "Swaziland: Southern Africa's Forgotten Crisis."
Today, on 21 August 2013, a year has passed since the death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the man considered to be the leading architect of post-Derg Ethiopia. Following his death, the future of a resurgent Ethiopia hung by a thread. Uncertainty mounted in the vast country of over 80 million inhabitants, with over 60 diverse ethnicities and two major religions that have cohabitated uncomfortably for decades.
The overarching mandate of the Southern African Development Community is the furtherance of socio-economic cooperation and integration, including political and security cooperation among its fifteen member states. Ordinarily, it is with these in mind that the 33RD annual SADC Summit is convening in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. The agenda of the summit is congested, and is clearly illustrative of the multitude challenges facing the regional body nineteen years since its transformation in 1994 from the Southern African Development Coordination Conference, which was founded in 1980.
Marikana has elicited a voluminous spectrum of analyses. The most insightful have pointed to the need for deep structural reforms, including innovative means of addressing the persistent challenges of migrant labour. Few, however, have drawn parallels between Marikana and the central problem of violence in South African society more broadly.
The upcoming summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on the 17 and 18 August 2013 is an annual regional meeting that brings together 15 member states. SAIIA speaks to Ambassador Kaire Mbuende, Namibia’s former representative to the United Nations and a former Executive Secretary of SADC.
The upcoming summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on the 17 and 18 August 2013 is an annual regional meeting that brings together 15 member states. SAIIA speaks to Aditi Lalbahadur who is researcher with SAIIA's South African Foreign Policy and African Drivers Programme.
South African Institute of International Affairs, Western Cape Branch, invites you to a public seminar to be addressed by Professor Brian Raftopolous speaking on "Zimbabwe: post-election round up"