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South Africa: Optimising the Currency of Soft Power in the International Arena

"A conscious and consistent adherence to the currency of soft power could enable South Africa to push through a national, an African and a more humane global agenda of immense magnitude in the overall international arena. However, effective communic…

The Rise of China's State-led Media Dynasty in Africa

"China is no exception to the global rise of developing media, who are challenging dominant traditional players. China’s state-owned media are increasing their influence in the world as an instrument of its grander soft power engagement. The paper…

Southern African Anchor State: A Renewed Strategic Commitment to South African Conflict Management as a Central function of Smart Power

This paper considers the potential future role of South Africa as an anchor state in Africa, whose legitimacy and credibility – in spite of domestic constraints – is underwritten by a strategic commitment to maintaining regional peace and security. …

Russia's Africa Policy

"Russia’s interest in Africa lies not only in terms of the continent’s natural resources. Indeed, Russia’s own reserves are significant. Developing Russia’s own enormous energy resources, however, would be far more costly than developing the same …

The Egyptian and Ethiopian Perspectives on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam

The 2011 announcement of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam’s construction came at a critical time, as Egypt was in the midst of a revolution and relations between Egypt and Ethiopia were already tense. Despite initial Egyptian threats of undertaki…

Increasing Influence: China in West Africa

This edition of West Africa Insight reflect on the ways China is extending its influence across West Africa. Tobi Oshodi and James Barnett start by providing an overview and analysis of the role Confucius Institutes, of which there are now 15 in Wes…

Une Influence Croissante: La Chine en Afrique de l'Ouest / Increasing Influence: China in West AFrica

This edition of West Africa Insight reflect on the ways China is extending its influence across West Africa. Tobi Oshodi and James Barnett start by providing an overview and analysis of the role Confucius Institutes, of which there are now 15 in Wes…

Russian and African Media: Exercising Soft Power

Under President Vladimir Putin, there has been a resurgence of Russian interest and involvement in Africa. The October 2019 Russia–Africa Summit in Sochi was reported as being a key milestone in Russia’s return to the African continent. Like other c…

Russia's Soft-power Sources in Africa

Does Russia have soft power – that is, the ability to attract and persuade rather than coerce – in Africa? Today, Russia is associated mainly with hard power, which relies on force (or the threat of force), economic sanctions or incentives. Yet, sin…

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