South Africa’s diplomatic highlights this year included: reelection to the UN Security Council from 2019 – 2020; chairing of the BRICS summit in July; chairing the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), co-chairing of the Forum on China Africa Cooperation Summit in Beijing along with involvement in the G20 forum hosted by Argentina. South Africa also turned over its Chairship of SADC to Namibia, followed by the convening of a Southern African Customs Union Summit in Windhoek. Beyond the region, developments in the Horn of Africa between Ethiopia and Eritrea portend major but still challenging prospects for stabilizing a region critical to the African Continental Free Trade Area unveiled in 2018, which emerged as a priority agenda item of a Cyril Ramaphosa presidency undergoing a review of South Africa’s foreign policy and economic diplomacy. Although critics have been severe about the depressed state of the economy and challenges emanating from the Jacob Zuma presidency, the beginning of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s tenure generated a ‘Ramaphoric’ sense of expectations. To be sure, the ‘Land Question’ has now become both a domestic and foreign policy matter as we anticipate the dynamics of 2019 and next year’s elections. As such, this roundtable explores the country’s international affairs interactions during the course of the year against the backdrop of national priorities and challenges experienced, which in anticipation, build on expectations regarding how South Africa’s diplomacy will unfold in 2019.
Date: 22 November 2018
Time: 09h00 for 09h30
Venue: Forum 150, Ground Floor, HSRC Building, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria
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