[in] focus

25 May - Africa Day and the role of Afro-Brazilians

ZuluCelebrating Africa Day on the 25th May continues to be a major challenge for Afro-Brazilians. After almost 500 years of forced migration (slavery), we have to admit that the majority of Afro-Brazilians do not know a lot about the African continent. Still mythical, idealised and romanticised perceptions of Africa persist in the minds of many in accordance with either their spiritual needs or need for political expediency.

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Confused debate on China's role in Africa

PhilaniMthembu largeResearcher says even congressional studies in Washington paint a false picture of the relationship

Philani Mthembu says the US is being hypocritical when it warns African leaders of the dangers of deepening relations with China when Washington itself is Beijing's largest trading partner.

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South China Sea Dispute; a Battle between David and Goliath

RemofiloeChina and the Philippines have been engaged in a tug of war over who has legitimate sovereignty over parts of the South China Sea1, an area that sees one-third of the world’s shipping pass through it and is believed to have huge oil and natural gas reserves under its seabed, from as far back as the 1970’s. This dispute has since escalated with the outgoing Filipino President, Benigno Aquino, filling an international legal case in 2013 against Beijing and China responding by reiterating its stance against third party interference.

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Reflecting on the International Committee of the Red Cross and South Africa’s humanitarian role in Somalia

SikhumbuzoThe Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) recently hosted the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) at an open dialogue reflecting on their humanitarian experiences in Somalia. The ICRC has maintained a humanitarian presence in Somalia since 1982. However, since 1994, its humanitarian delegation has been based in Nairobi, Kenya due to the escalation of the civil conflict. The ICRC has also worked with the Somali Red Crescent Society (SRCS) in attempts to implement many of its humanitarian activities inside Somalia.

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South Africa-Zimbabwe relations in the context of China’s growing footprint in Africa

PhilaniMthembu largeRelations between South Africa and Zimbabwe pose interesting questions about regional dynamics in Southern Africa in the context of China’s growing footprint on the African continent. Rather than describing the relationship, the following article suggests a way of understanding it in a changing global political landscape. It does this by presenting five key themes, namely 1) the Johannesburg FOCAC Summit in 2015, 2) China’s second Africa policy paper released prior to the summit, 3) the convergence of the inception of FOCAC and Zimbabwe’s Look East policy, 4) the role of emerging powers in establishing regional autonomy, and 5) the fallacy of using traditional International Relations lenses to explain the relationship between South Africa and Zimbabwe throughout the political crisis that unfolded.

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