Thirty years of South African foreign policy and UK relations

This event will be in London and Zoom

When President Nelson Mandela assumed the presidency on 10 May 1994, South Africa experienced an unparalleled global reputation. The international community, especially Western nations, viewed the new South Africa as capable of assuming a vital and influential role in Africa, promoting conflict resolution, economic growth, and serving as a global champion of democracy and human rights.

South Africa’s post-apartheid foreign policy has matched these ambitions to an extent, and it has been a champion of reform of global governance institutions. It has served three terms on the UN Security Council, been an important advocate for the expansion of BRICS, and will be the first African host of the G20 in 2025. However, continental ambitions have been limited by resistance to its economic expansion, resistance to its democratic principles, and doubts about its suitability as Africa's global representative. Furthermore, domestic political and economic challenges have hampered successive governments’ pursuit of regional and global agendas.

At this workshop, leading academics will reflect on the complexities of South African foreign relations, and a panel of leading practitioners will discuss the past and future relations with the UK.

This event is held in partnership with Chatham House.

See document below for further details and schedule.

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