June 8th, 2010

The price of freedom - South Africa

Since embracing full democracy 16 years ago, South Africa has made huge strides. But, says Diana Geddes (interviewed), not everything has changed for the better

SPORT matters in South Africa. In his new year’s address to the nation, President Jacob Zuma described 2010 as “the most important year in our country since 1994”. To outsiders, playing host to this year’s football World Cup seemed perhaps a less momentous event than holding the country’s first fully democratic elections that established a black-majority government 16 years ago—especially when the national team, Bafana Bafana, may be knocked out in the first round. But with the kick-off on June 11th, just days after the country’s 100th birthday on May 31st, the world’s eyes will be on Africa’s leading economy for the next few weeks.

The Economist: http://www.economist.com/specialreports/displayStory.cfm?story_id=16248589

West must change approach to Africa

Tom Cargill, Assistant Head of the Africa Programme at Chatham House, writes on the West’s relationship with Africa:

French President Nicholas Sarkozy put it best this week, when he spoke of the increasing important of Africa in Global Affairs: “Africa’s formidable demographics and its considerable resources make it the main reservoir for world economic growth in the decades to come.”

This is indeed the principal finding of our new Chatham House Report ‘Our Common Strategic Interests: Africa’s role in the post G8 World’. Yet so far there is very little evidence that Western policy makers, publics, or most importantly, businesses, are waking up to the opportunities that are slowly draining away from them with each passing day.

Full report on Reuters: http://af.reuters.com/