South Africa in the World: Navigating a Changing Global Order
This report was compiled from Institute for Global Dialogue’s (IGD) flagship symposium South Africa in the World, held in November 2018 and February 2019 and engaged government, academia, business, non-governmental and civil society actors. The symposiums covered the change in leadership and what this meant for South African foreign policy. Central in this regard was the discussion on the lead up to the 2019 national elections, the African agenda and strategic developments related to Western Sahara, Morocco, and the Horn of Africa, and key themes like continental integration and associated challenges as well as the return of old partners like Russia. In addition other highlights included discussions on South Africa’s engagements with Latin America and the Caribbean, other platforms where it held the chairship of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) partnership, as well as the annual Group of 20 (G20) meeting and reelection as non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2019 – 2020. These symposiums explored South Africa’s role as a bridge-builder, which is a key objective of its post-apartheid foreign policy agenda, as well as a pragmatic outlook, which provided a retrospective look into the implementation of South African foreign policy and broader alignment with key priorities and national objectives. With a global pandemic currently underway and much of the world already in lockdown, South Africa’s ability to navigate a changing global political and economic order will be tested. What will also be tested is the country’s ability to define its national interests in a manner that cuts across political, racial, and class divides, and its ability to build a diplomatic infrastructure capable of channelling and coordinating the states resources in a strategic and coordinated manner that delivers material and non-material gains for South Africa in the world.