Select a language for instant Google Translation

Filter these publications by ...

Topics

Regions

Countries

Programmes

Opinion & Analysis (1012)

Following the tragic killing of striking miners at the Lonmin Mine in Marikana on 16 August 2012, South Africa’s government established a Commission of Inquiry to investigate matters of ‘public, national and international concern’ arising out of the tragic event. Three years on, the release of the Commission’s final report has provoked hostile reactions from many quarters.
Reflecting the broadening of the BRICS agenda since the grouping was formed in 2009, the first ever meeting of BRICS environment ministers was held in Russia in April 2015. The ministers agreed to:
The signing of the Tripartite Free Trade Agreement (TFTA) two weeks ago in Egypt between three of Africa’s major economic blocs COMESA, the EAC and SADC is an important development for intra-African trade and investment. By taking the first step towards the establishment of an economic bloc spanning the continent from South to North East, the African leaders have also laid the foundation for the establishment of a sizeable consumer market for international investors. Yet, it hardly received the attention it deserved at the AU’s 25th Summit in Johannesburg from 7 – 15 June 2015.
Ahead of the UN Conference of Parties (COP 21) meeting in December 2015, which it is hoped will deliver a universal, legally binding climate agreement to succeed the Kyoto Protocol by 2020, Paris is hosting an International Scientific Conference (ISC) from 7–10 July.
Some five weeks ago I attended the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) Academic Forum in Moscow as part of the South African delegation. The discussions held there provide interesting insights into the future direction of the BRICS group.
[Updated 29 June 2015] Preceding this month's 25th African Union (AU) summit in Johannesburg a meeting of the AU Specialized Technical Committee on Defence, Safety and Security committed again to fully operationalise an African Standby Force (ASF) by December this year. The ASF has been ten years in the planning, and in that time has failed to establish a rapid response tool to deal with conflict on the continent.
As I write this, President al-Bashir has left the country. He should never have risked coming and the South African government should have suspected that something like this might happen.
The focus for this year’s African Union (AU) Summit – being held on 14 and 15 June 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa – is the 'Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063'. The Summit follows on from the launch of the Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA), which encompasses 26 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa, including SADC, the EAC and COMESA.
The global economy loses $50 billion every year as a result of poor management of global fish stocks. That figure doesn’t tell the full story of how overfishing, illegal fisheries and environmental degradation impact the livelihoods of coastal and riparian communities, particularly in developing states.
Every year, the United Nations Environment Programme celebrates the World Environment Day on 5 June to raise awareness about environmental issues, reflect on what has been accomplished and call for sustained action globally.
On the sidelines of this week’s OECD meetings in Paris, South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies and US Trade Representative Mike Froman will try and overcome the protracted dispute between the two countries on chicken exports.
The theme for World Health Day, held on 7 April 2015, was 'From farm to plate – make food safe.' The main motivation for the theme was the alarming amount of bacteria borne diseases across the globe, transmitted by eating food which is contaminated by bacteria, viruses, parasites or chemical substances.
A few weeks ago, forces loyal to President Pierre Nkurunziza stymied a coup d’état in Burundi. A few months earlier, last October to be precise, the exact opposite occurred when an army officer in Burkina Faso, Lt Col. Isaac Zida, dislodged in a bloodless coup d’état West Africa’s former strong-man and president of that country, Blaise Compaoré.
A new pricing model for the controversial electronic toll collection (e-tolling) on the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project (GFIP) was announced by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa last week, which will dramatically reduce user fees but link unpaid fees to driver's licence renewals.
Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, and one of the 12 fastest growing economies in the world is heading to a general election on 24 May 2015. There is very little to suggest that the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which came to power after a bloody civil war in 1991 should have much to worry about.
The South Atlantic Zone refers to a grouping of countries from Latin America and Africa that fall on the littoral border of the South Atlantic Ocean. This region holds significant strategic and economic potential for countries from both regions. Traditionally, South Africa’s regional foreign policy is classified as either ‘Latin American’ or ‘African’. However, an approach that conceives of South Atlantic Zone countries as a single entity offers an opportunity to bridge this conceptual and geographic divide while providing a framework for deeper multilateral co-operation.
The 68th session of the World Health Assembly is being held in Geneva from 18 to 26 of May. The focus for this year’s Assembly is ‘Ebola: Ending the current outbreak, strengthening global preparedness and ensuring the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) capacity to prepare for and respond to future large-scale outbreaks and emergencies with health consequences,’ and ‘Health in the post-2015 development agenda’.
This year’s Africa Day commemorations on 25 May – celebrating the founding of the Organisation of African Unity in Ethiopia in 1963 – occur against the backdrop of deadly xenophobic attacks in South Africa. A governance assessment of South Africa under the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) in 2007 emphasised these underlying tensions with foreign nationals.
Detailed and carefully collected foreign direct investment (FDI) statistics are essential for the effective design and evaluation of public policy on inward foreign investment.
In South Africa, it is commonplace to receive a ‘Key to Freedom’ on your 21st birthday. To the recipient, it signifies entry into adulthood and with it the autonomy and ‘freedom’ to forge an independent path. For the parents who bestow this key, it is a conferring of trust in their child to accept the mantle of adulthood with maturity.
‘Isaac, we can no longer go to the movie today. We have a curfew,’ my late dad told me. ‘I understand, dad,’ I responded – and I genuinely did. This was a conversation taking place on a Saturday at home in Ibex Hill, in my hometown of Lusaka in 1978.
The bill to extend the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA), the United States’ cornerstone African development initiative, has finally arrived in Congress in the form of the AGOA Extension and Enhancement Act of 2015.
In tandem with the steep fall in global commodity prices, demands for a stronger sustainability focus in Africa's extractives industry is on the rise. This shift is leading communities, industry, government and civil society actors to reassess emerging governance challenges in a low commodity price environment.
Combating gender-based violence was a key theme raised by African countries at the March 2015 session of the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) in Geneva, Switzerland. It is clear that this is a serious problem across the continent, as speeches from leaders from South Africa to Egypt demonstrated.
Is there clarity and coherence in current measures being taken by South Africa’s government to address the country’s critical energy challenges?
This year is seen as an important step towards implementing Africa’s future development plans. With the MDGs drawing to a close, the post-2015 development agenda for the continent is framed around Agenda 2063.
How are states employing cultural diplomacy in an increasingly interconnected world in shaping understanding between societies while promoting preferential co-operation between nations? Observers of China-South Africa relations will have noticed the increasing reference to the ‘China Year in South Africa’ by officials on both sides.
History is likely to regard Nigeria's just-concluded election as the defining one that finally put the country on an irreversible course of democratic maturation.
At the recent University of the Witwatersrand’s Mandela Institute Conference on the Private Security Industry Regulatory Act Amendment Bill, commonly known as the Security Bill, National Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa provided the keynote address. From the various presentations at the Conference, held on 19 March 2015, it became apparent that there is a disconnect between South Africa’s national security imperatives and its trade and investment policy.
The South African government wishes to take a more interventionist approach towards inward foreign investment. Its view is that the current system is biased towards big multinationals and it wants more room to pursue the country’s social and economic goals.