[in] focus

From a pan-Africanist to a pan-humanist approach to the African Renaissance

Senegal-statue2May 25, 2013 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), which has since 2002 been rechristened the African Union (AU). From Addis Ababa, the birth place of the OAU and the current seat of the AU, to Johannesburg, the epicentre of the 2008 xenophobic attacks on African migrants, there has not been a shortage of ‘Africa Day’ events, celebrating the vision, fighting spirit and achievements of the founders of the OAU.

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Africa 2063 and ordinary Africans

LAST weekend, the continent of Africa celebrated its golden jubilee. Fifty years after independence from colonial rule began, it’s time to ask how we seize this opportunity to create a better continent which can benefit the world?

In the week of celebrations, the body of Chinua Achebe, Nigerian-born thinker and writer, was laid to rest after several weeks of mourning.

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Whither SA and Central African Republic?

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.

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SA, UK and the international politics of ‘aid’

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.

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North Korea and the real danger in a nuclear war

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.

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