Event Report: ‘Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations: Towards reciprocal approaches’- Launch of the South African Journal of International Affairs Special Issue

On 26 February, researchers and practitioners convened at the University of Pretoria to celebrate the launch of the South African Journal of International Affairs (SAJIA) Special Issue on “Broadening the debate on EU-Africa relations: Towards reciprocal approaches”, guest edited by GovInn research fellows Dr John Kotsopoulos and Dr Frank Mattheis.

GovInn Research Fellow, Dickson Ajisafe, speaking at 2019 UKZN International Relations Postgraduate Conference

A 2-day International Relations Postgraduate Conference was held on the 19th and 20th of March 2019 at Garden Court Marine Parade Hotel in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. The conference, with the caption, “The Evolving Global Order: What’s at Stake for Africa?” was hosted by the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung, South Africa in partnership with the International and Public Affairs Cluster, School of Social Sciences, University  of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban, South Africa. The Conference brought together scores of selected International Relations postgraduate students from the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), Durban University of Technology and the University of Zululand. The objectives of the Conference, among others, included exposing students in the KwaZulu-Natal Province to influential actors of International Relations, building a community of practice for international relations in the KwaZulu-Natal Province as well as providing young South Africans with insight into topical trends and contemporary analysis on South African international relations.  The conference attracted academics, practitioners, stakeholders and civil society leaders, who served as panelists on diverse topics during the Conference.

Mr. Dickson Ajisafe, GovInn Research Fellow, shared a panel with other speakers, and addressed the audience on “Africa-EU relations: Current development and what Africa should do towards achieving SDGs and 2030 agenda”. In his remarks, Mr. Ajisafe, touched on current development in Africa-EU partnership, significance of goal setting towards development and sustainability, lessons from MDGs and emergence of SDGs. and wrapping-up his session, he hammered on salient attitudes Africa needs to develop as she relates with Europe and responsible actions required of Africa in her pursuit of achieving Sustainable Development Goals and 2030 agenda.

Dickson Ajisafe at UKZN

Moderators and speakers at the Conference included Dr. Candice Moore, a Senior Lecturer at the University of KwaZulu-Natal; Ms. Tamara Naidoo, the Programme Manager for International Relations at the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), South Africa; Hameda Deedat, the acting Executive Director for NALEDI COSATU’s research arm and Sanusha Naidu, Political Analyst and Senior Research Fellow. Others included : Advocate Vasu Gounden, the Founder of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), Zane Dangor, Special Adviser to the Hon. Minister Lindiwe Sisulu; Prof. Lisa Thompson, the Director of the African Centre for Citizenship and Democracy (ACCEDE), University of the Western Cape, South Africa and others.

Within the conference, a special public dialogue was held which brought together the dominant political parties in South Africa – the ANC, DA, IFP and EFF – to discuss with the public their analysis of key international relations issues affecting South Africa and provide a platform to share their positions. The conference ended with a brief address from Dr. Heinz Bongartz-the Director of FES, South Africa, a group photo and certificate of participation presented to all postgraduate students.

Dr Chris Nshimbi on Cape Talk: Climate Change – Coping with Natural Disasters in SADC

On 24 April 2019, GovInn Director Dr Chris Nshimbi was engaged in conversation on the John Maytham Show on Cape Talk Radio, discussing the topic of climate change and the impact that natural disasters have on Southern Africa.


If you go back to 2000 and come up to 2018, 2019, you see that mostly the response [to natural disasters] has been one country on a bilateral level collaborating with a country that is affected and not the region as a whole


You can listen to the full conversation here.

‘Pan-African Aspirations Drive a New Free Trade Pact’ by Chris Nshimbi in Current History.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi published the article ‘Pan-African Aspirations Drive a New Free Trade Pact‘ in Current History.

Transnational labor mobility will be integral to the continental free trade area. Some services that are going to
be traded across nation-state borders will require people to go along with them. Ideally, the free movement of goods and services should coexist with the free movement of people.

Read the whole article here: http://www.currenthistory.com.uplib.idm.oclc.org

‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together’, by Chris Nshimbi in The Conversation.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi recently published the article ‘Southern African countries won’t manage disasters unless they work together‘ in The Conversation.

But, natural disasters like Idai doesn’t respect national boundaries. Their very regional scope requires solutions that integrate domestic actions into a regional governance framework to address them effectively … Instead of acting individually, SADC countries need to work together to pool resources and mobilise disaster relief efforts and resources to be more effective. This could be done through the SADC Secretariat.


Read the whole article here: https://theconversation.com/southern-african-countries-wont-manage-disasters-unless-they-work-together-114541

Koen Dekeyser at the Right to Food seminar

GovInn’s researcher Koen Dekeyser participated in the Legal Resource Centre‘s Right to Food seminar in Johannesburg, 25-26 March 2019. In the seminar, pathways to implement South Africa’s constitutional Right to Food where discussed. In short, the right to food is a human right recognised under national and international law, which protects the right of human beings to access food and feed themselves. While Section 27(1)(b) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa states that, ‘everyone has the right to have access to sufficient food and water’, implementation is lacking while malnourishment remains large.

‘Border Practices at Beitbridge Border and Johannesburg Inner City: Implications for the SADC Regional Project’, by Chris Nshimbi and Inocent Moyo.

GovInn’s Director Chris Nshimbi published together with Inocent Moyo the article ‘Border Practices at Beitbridge Border and Johannesburg Inner City: Implications for the SADC Regional Project‘ in the Journal of Asian and African Studies.

Regarded not only as a line that separates South Africa and Zimbabwe to underline the interiority and exteriority of the two countries, as well as to control and manage migration and immigration, Beitbridge border effectively plays out the immigration debates and dynamics at the heart of the nation-state of South Africa. Based on a qualitative study of how migrants from other African countries are treated at this border and in Johannesburg inner city, we suggest that the harassment suffered by the migrants at the hands of border officials, including immigration officials, the police and army, is indicative of a larger dynamic that exists in the centre, which is represented by Johannesburg inner city. Such bordering and rebordering practices at the border and at the centre reflect negatively on the spirit and letter of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) regional integration project.

Read whole article here : https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/0021909618822123

In the media: Dr Bruno Losch and members of the Centre of Excellence in Food Security weigh on the SONA and Budget Speech of 2019

GovInn Co-Director Dr Bruno Losch was featured in two online platforms, The Citizen and IOL, giving remarks on the recent State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Rhamaphosa and Budget Speech delivered by Finance Minister Tito Mboweni. His remarks were given as part of a group statement released by the Centre of Excellence in Food Security, based jointly at the University of Pretoria and the University of the Western Cape.

In their statement, the Centre of Excellence noted:

We had hoped, in announcing his budget, that the minister would increase funds for drought relief and flood damage to the farming sector in anticipation of future impact of climate change. That he would set funds aside to improve the implementation of food safety regulation following the deadly listeria outbreak and subsequent food safety breakdowns. That funding be increased for research and innovation in the food production, processing and distribution sectors, some of which would be from the 4th Industrial Revolution that was mentioned in SONA.

The full articles can be accessed here and here.

The European Commission launches the report of the Task Force Rural Africa: “An Africa-Europe agenda for rural transformation”

Bruno Losch, GovInn co-director, was appointed in his personal capacity as a member of the European Commission Task Force Rural Africa in May 2018. The Task Force, chaired by Tom Arnold, includes 10 members from Africa and Europe with a research or practitioner background. It met seven times, in Brussels, Kigali and Berlin.

Preliminary results were presented at the Global Forum for Food and Agriculture (GFFA) in Berlin on January 18, 2019, and yesterday, March 7, 2019, the report of the Task Force was launched in Brussels by Phil Hogan, EU Commissioner for agriculture, and Josefa Sacko, African Union Commissioner in charge of rural economy and agriculture, in presence of the Task Force members. It was then presented to the Committee on agriculture and rural development of the European Parliament by the TFRA Chair.

The Task Force work gained momentum with the launch of the New Africa – Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investments and Jobs proposed by the European Commission in September 2018. Its report proposes four main areas for action in order to unlock the full potential of the African rural economy, namely: a territorial development strategy, a sustainable land and natural resources management framework, the sustainable transformation of African agriculture, and the development of the African food industry and markets. The TFRA report will be used in the coming months to feed the policy dialogue between the EU and AU Commissions. It proposes a renewed partnership which should operate at three levels: people to people, business to business, and government to government

In the Media: “Democracy, Governance and the 2019 Elections in Nigeria: Which Candidate is the Answer?”

On Monday 11 February 2019, GovInn hosted a panel of South African based Nigerian academics, political practitioners and students to discuss the upcoming Nigerian elections. The panel was moderated by Dr Chris Nshimbi, and included members of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), academics from the University of Pretoria and the University of South Africa, and students who commented on the state of Nigeria leading up to the elections and their expectations.

Below is a summary video, from Channels Television, sharing highlights of the event.