Home|Uncategorised|Zuma racks up voyager miles
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by Laura Grant

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Categories: Uncategorised

by Laura Grant

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He got off to a slow start in his first year, but he is catching up fast. The average number of foreign visits a year is: Mbeki 28, Zuma 25. This comes after analysing media statements issued by the department of international relations between 2004 and 2013, the last five years of Mbeki’s presidency and the first five of Zuma’s. Last year was a particularly busy one for Zuma (31 foreign visits). Only once, in 2005, did Mbeki travel more. Quantity does not imply quality, though. The number of visits alone is not a measure of the impact of a president’s travels. In terms of the net result on South Africa’s image and influence, it is important to be strategic about which countries to visit, said Professor Shadrack Gutto of Unisa’s Institute of African Renaissance Studies. Nelson Mandela was a hard act to follow. He had the moral high ground. With him as president, apartheid’s Western-centric approach was replaced by pan-Africanism and South-South solidarity, say international relations experts. Human rights would guide the country’s foreign affairs; he told the world.It was under Mbeki that an ideological shift in foreign policy came into play. Mbeki’s approach was markedly more Afrocentric, and his favouring of emerging countries and opposition to Western dominance was seen at times as animosity towards the West.

Available at: http://mg.co.za/data/2014-02-14-00-zuma-racks-up-voyager-miles 

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