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Published 19th July 2012

Vol 53 No 15


South Africa

Dlamini-Zuma takes charge

Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

South Africa finally won the battle for the AU Commission chair, amid high hopes for reform and more effective interventions

Security crises in five countries and pressing economic problems confront the new Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. Although she has three months to wind up in South Africa, where she is Home Affairs Minister, before moving to the AU in Addis Ababa, her transition programme is already under way.


M23 makes the running

The mutineers hold the cards and are setting the agenda: they may strike Goma soon

Although six governments signed an agreement in Addis Ababa on 15 July to promote security in eastern Congo-Kinshasa, rebels still threaten Goma, the base of the United Nations for...



BLUE LINES
THE INSIDE VIEW

After a good weekend’s work which saw his ex-wife win an election as the new leader of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma flew on to Beijing. There, at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, he celebrated the new power configurations within Africa and beyond.

‘We are particularly pleased that in our relationship with China we are equals and that agreements entered into are for mutual gain,’ Zuma told a meeting attended by Beijing’...

After a good weekend’s work which saw his ex-wife win an election as the new leader of the African Union Commission in Addis Ababa, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma flew on to Beijing. There, at the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation, he celebrated the new power configurations within Africa and beyond.

‘We are particularly pleased that in our relationship with China we are equals and that agreements entered into are for mutual gain,’ Zuma told a meeting attended by Beijing’s outgoing President Hu Jintao. Such sentiments might seem exaggerated, given that cheap Chinese imports had almost destroyed South Africa’s textile industry until Zuma’s predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, imposed rigid quotas on Chinese companies and Beijing quickly acquiesced.

Perhaps such blatant toadying is an attempt to draw the West into a bidding war in Africa. ‘We are certainly convinced that China’s intention is different to Europe, which to date continues to intend to influence African countries for their sole benefit,’ Zuma said.

The two biggest economies in the West, the United States and Germany, take the message seriously. Berlin, which like China invests hugely in the AU, is planning to increase its 6 billion euro (US$7.4 bn.) aid programme to Africa. And this week the US proposed a new trade deal with the East African Community, which is Africa’s latest oil and gas frontier. Last year, US trade with East Africa grew by 34%.

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