In this issue of the Journal of African Foreign Affairs, the reader will find analyses ranging from non-state actors, sub-state actors, sovereign state policies, and state-to-state relationships particularly with China. A regular reader may notice that the relationships between China (the biggest developing country) and Africa (the biggest continent with developing countries) have been more the focus of our contributors than the relationships between the African continent and Western countries. Signs of the time? Pivot to the East? It is also noticeable that, in most of Western books about geostrategy, Africa is barely mentioned. In that respect, a book by late Zbigniew Brzezinski, Strategic Vision: America and the Crisis of Global Power (2012) comes to mind. It may not be a matter of mutual ignorance but certainly that of emphasis. As the topics of this issue show, the emphasis is on the agency of African states and the role they play within the continent and vis-à-vis players ............
In his introduction of the journal Jeune Afrique’s issue of July 2021, Marwane Ben Yamed, raised a question that, I have no doubt, is in many minds. Is the African continent condemned to suffer, ad vitam aeternam, from political leaders that lack vision? I would answer no! Africa is moving forward: from the “Conferences Nationmales Soureraines” challenging old regimes in the 1990s and resulting in multi-party political systems to the food riots in the 2008-2011 period followed by the “Arab Spring” that affected some North African countries. The push for change, as Ben Yamed noted, continues such as in Burkina Faso (2014), The Gambia (2016), Zimbabwe (2017), South Africa (2018), Algeria and Sudan (2019), Mali (2020-2021), Senegal (2021), and ongoing protests in Tunisia (July-August 2021).
The hundreds of millions of young Africans that will be on the job market in the decades to come expect new forms of governance, more performing eco............
In this issue of the Journal of African Foreign Affairs, contributors focus on an Africa-centered development and security analysis from multiple perspectives. They include pressures from the international environment (Enaifoghe et.al.), the evaluation of bilateral relationships with foreign entities such as the European Union and Gambia (Omotosho et. al.), and China and Ethiopia (Benjamin). The authors also provide an assessment of some internal challenges: the issue of porous borders such as between Ghana, Benin, and Nigeria (Obah-Akpowoghaha et. al.), and of the need to embed African values in African policy evaluation using an approach based on the concept of “Ubuntu” (Uwizeyimana).
Furthermore, authors suggest solutions that are both practical (the African Continental Free Trade Agreement by Okafor and Udibe) and theoretical, linking ideology and international politics (Agbude and Lawal).
While these analyses are far from being exhaustive, they ............
The last issue of the Journal of African Foreign Affairs was published amid the multi-faceted
challenges of Covid-19 for the African continent. This issue emphasizes foreign affairs from an
African perspective: from Zimbabwe-China relationships (Chivanga and Monye), western
influence on public administration epistemology (Erasmus), the philosophy behind Nigeria’s
foreign policy for the last 60 years (Mbara and Gopal), South Africa-Zimbabwe foreign policy
during Zuma’s administration (Langa and Shai), a comparative study of India’s and South
Africa’s agricultural economies (Mbatha), to making a case for African exceptionalism with
focus on Joaquim Chissano’s leadership style (Nyuykonge and Shulika).
This issue shows the importance of study of African foreign affairs. An Africa-centered
perspective reifies the needs and aspirations of African people. It is a good step in ensuring
peace and economic development in the region. And, beyond............
This issue of the Journal of African Foreign Affairs comes in the middle of Covid-19 pandemic. Despite personal and social challenges involved, contributors have made every effort to produce thoughtful and timely analyses. I am grateful to them.
Covid-19 is a global phenomenon. But it has fragmented the international community. It has also become a symbol of a U.S.-China potential Cold War. Thus, geopolitical calculations may intensify and influence great powers’ involvement in Africa. Furthermore, both developed and developing countries are experiencing recession simultaneously. International cooperation is needed to address existing global challenges, but the solutions are to be local. For, example, by mid-century, just 30 years from now, due to severe climate, the world food production may decline by 30 percent and food prices double while the world population is expected to grow 30 percent. Conflict may erupt consequently and, in turn,............
The ‘Western leverage and linkage’ factor in African Foreign Affairs Despite its peripheral position and the sometimes-negligible contributions, Africa is deeply embedded in global political economy. This embeddedness becomes even clearer when one analyses Africa‘s relations with the world and relations between African states and in the regional bodies they establish. Of course it is often difficult to find a balance or accord equal weight on the extent to which ‗global externalities‘ as opposed to endogenous factors impact on the direction and even character of state relations within Africa and how these also influence Africa‘s foreign affairs. To capture the role of both domestic and international factors in African foreign affairs one is tempted to invoke the notion of ‗Western leverage and linkage‘ as one of the dominant if not the most key factors in shaping African foreign affairs. It‘s a factor which is both an indicator of Africa&ls............
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