In Focus is a refereed IGD blog spot providing snip analysis by IGD staff and external analysts on topical developments in Africa and the world. If you want to have your commentary considered, write an e-mail to email@example.com. Older In Focus articles may be found in the Archives section.
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By Lesley Masters Monday, 13 May 2013 08:41
On the 30th of April the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) noted the ‘unilateral announcement’ by the UK to end its Official Development Assistance (ODA), or ‘aid’, to South Africa by 2015. This amounts to some £19 million a year for South Africa, which plays a role in supporting government development initiatives as well as civil society groups in addressing the priorities of unemployment, inequality and poverty.
The reasons behind the decision, set out by the UK International Development Secretary Justine Greening, is that relations with South Africa should be based on trade rather than aid and that South Africa has reached a position where it could fund its own development. This is a position supported by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague, who claims that the UK could not continue to support South Africa with ODA as it was the continent’s economic powerhouse, with a growing economy and rising incomes. The decision also follows on-going debates within the UK on aid spending and the implementation of austerity measures in addressing the effects of the international financial crisis.
By Siphamandla Zondi Monday, 29 April 2013 22:13
Over the week-end the Prime Minister of Central African Republic, Nicolas Tiangaye, who was actually the premier for several months in the deposed government of Francois Bozize, visited President Zuma in Pretoria to affirm that relations between the two governments have normalized. Zuma indicated in the press briefing thereafter that his country's foreign policy towards CAR had not changed, suggesting that it is the rebel government that had changed tack. This article explores this and the rest of issues connected to it.
By Kenny Dlamini Friday, 19 April 2013 11:33
North Korea’s recent threats to attack Guam, a United States territory in the Western Pacific Ocean, using nuclear weapons can be regarded as a bluff; however, it should be considered with some concern. Pyongyang’s outburst comes after the recent sanctions imposed by the United Nations following its third nuclear weapon test on 12 February 2013.
For a number of years since the end of the Cold War, Pyongyang’s nuclear programme became a major bone of contention in international affairs and a challenge to the US hegemony in Southeast Asia. In 2006 and 2009, Pyongyang’s rocket tests were unsuccessful, yet this changed in December 2012 with a successful launch of a rocket.
By Kenny Dlamini Tuesday, 12 March 2013 14:09
China’s attitude towards a territorial sovereignty dispute in the South China Sea has proved to be problematic in South East Asia. For decades now, the territorial dispute in the Spratly/Nasha islands, known to be rich in natural resources, continue to undermine peace and security in region.
The underlining cause of the tension is that, China claim historical territorial sovereignty on the disputed islands and waters, which clashes with a number of states such as the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Taiwan. These states too claim legal sovereign rights over the disputed islands.
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