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Foreign Policy

SAIIA’s Foreign Policy research covers three pillars: South African foreign policy; the foreign policy engagement of key African driver countries in their region, with a specific focus on supporting regional peace and security; and the engagement of key global (including emerging) players in Africa, with the view to supporting African development, peace and stability at a national, regional and continental level.

The programme seeks to produce a body of work that assists policymakers, the business community and civil society working on South African and African foreign policy concerns.

The sexual abuse and exploitation of women – in war and peacetime – is one of the most widespread and overlooked phenomena. Frequently exposed to violence and sexual exploitation by armed combatants, women and children have throughout history, been kidnapped, raped and forced into work or to fight on the frontline for causes that are not their own. Only since the establishment of the International Criminal Tribunals in Yugoslavia and Rwanda has sexual violence come to be regarded as an international crime, a crime against humanity and, therefore, a grave infraction of the Geneva Conventions.
SAIIA Policy Briefing 168, November 2017
SAIIA Policy Briefing 167, November 2017
‘Better city, better life’ is the UN’s slogan for World Cities Day, falling annually on 31 October. This year’s theme, ‘innovative governance, open cities’, references the idea that urbanisation has immense potential to improve people’s lives. Given the UN’s focus on using the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to advance global development by 2030, why is World Cities Day important? And what does it mean for Africa’s cities?
SAIIA Policy Briefing No 166, October 2017
This book critically investigates the expanding involvement of a leading emerging power, Brazil, in one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, Mozambique. It looks at the dynamics of Brazilian development assistance, its flagship engagement in Mozambique’s agricultural and resource sector and the burgeoning social ties that bind them together.
Drawing on leading and emerging scholars in the field, this book unpacks the complexity of security challenges confronting China and the continent. It also interrogates how security considerations impact upon the growing economic and social links China has developed with African states.
The electoral commission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) this week announced that elections will be postponed until 2019. Elections originally scheduled for December 2016 were pushed back by a year in an agreement struck on 31 December 2016, to accommodate government concerns around an updated voters’ roll with the growing urgency of holding elections.
Africa’s leaders, along with everyone else interested in US-Africa relations, have waited eight months for US President Donald Trump’s administration to explain its Africa policy. We aren’t there yet.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 270, September 2017
Although the theme of the 9th BRICS Summit is “A Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future”, there is likely to be some underlying tension among the five member states when they meet in Xiamen, East China’s Xiamen province, from Sept 3 to 5.
In the wake of the North Korean missile fired into Japanese airspace – on the United Nation’s commemorative “International Day Against Nuclear Tests” on the 29 August - an emergency UN Security Council meeting has been called over the escalation of tensions in the Korean Peninsula.
The Southern African Development (SADC) heads of state met in Pretoria to discuss developments in the region, they will do so under new stewardship from Angola and South Africa. Angola will assume leadership of the Organ on Politics Defence and Security Cooperation (OPDSC), while South Africa assumes overall chairmanship.
A decade after the Joint Africa-EU Strategy (JAES) was launched; the AU and EU are laying the groundwork to renegotiate their relationship in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, come November. In preparation, 80 civil society representatives from both continents were invited to share views on the focus of the partnership in July in Carthage, Tunisia.
Most states prioritise relations with their nearest neighbours. After all, those on one’s doorstep represent the closest opportunities for trade, travel and political ties. These countries will often share geographical, cultural and ethnic connections, and have had similar historical journeys.
In June, South Africa’s public protector announced there would be a new investigation into the #GuptaLeaks allegations of corruption at the highest levels of government. It’s a symptom of South Africa’s broader problems.
Thursday, 06 July 2017

G20 commitment to Africa

This year Germany has made Africa the focus of its G20 presidency through its Compact with Africa and the Marshall Plan for the continent, which together aim to create a more sustainable environment for private sector participation in African economies.
The Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn) and the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) are delighted to invite you to a Book launch on South African Foreign Policy: Identities, Intentions, and Directions with the support of the University of the Witwatersrand’s Department of Political Science and the University of Pretoria’s Department of Political Sciences.
On 30 June South Africa’s ruling party, the African National Congress, kicked off its week-long policy conference in Johannesburg. Party cadres will meet under the (now ironic) call “The year of Oliver Reginald Tambo: Let us deepen unity!” in memory of one of the ANC’s most formidable and respected leaders.
SAIIA Occasional Paper No 261, June 2017
Meeting his counterparts in Europe on his first overseas trip in May, President Donald Trump failed to reassure them that the military alliance, which has been the backbone of the Atlantic relationship since the end of the Cold War, will receive the same degree of commitment from the US as in the past.
In 1979 Iran underwent an Islamic Revolution, surprising ‘experts’ around the world and transforming its country from a United States-supported monarchy to an Islamic Republic. The ideology of the revolution was rooted in teachings spread by Ayatollah Khomeini. His firm belief in the need for jurists who were experts in Islamic law and could act as guardians of the people came to shape not only the revolution but the new constitution, system of government, and the electoral system.
Earlier this year, president Xi Jinping strode the world stage at Davos with his statement that 'We should commit ourselves to growing an open global economy… Pursuing protectionism is like locking oneself in a dark room.'
SAIIA Policy Insights No 45, May 2017
On 24 March, the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued its first order awarding financial compensation – on an individual basis – to the victims of the Bogoro village attack in 2003 in the Ituri district of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The court sentenced Former Congolese warlord Germain Katanga in March 2014 to 12 years in prison (later reduced to eight years), on four counts of war crimes and one count of crimes against humanity for these atrocities. Breaking new ground, a symbolic compensation of $250 has been awarded to each of the 297 identified victims of those…
On 29 April, President Donald J Trump reached 100 days in office as president of the United States. A controversial head of state, whose election campaign and subsequent ascension to power was met with widespread criticism and resistance, particularly from large US cities, the dust certainly has not settled by now for his administration. Instead of assuaging fears and infusing greater certainty into global affairs, the announcement that his budget intends to cut $1 billion dollars in foreign aid and diplomacy to fund various ‘America First’ projects has the rest of the world concerned about the fate of peace, security…
In a midnight press-release, President Zuma announced the results of his latest cabinet reshuffle, that predictably included the sacking of the country’s revered Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan.
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