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    Conference Papers


    International Conference: Africa Institute of the Russian Academy of Science & Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. The Future of Africa: The Struggle of New and Old Actors 13-14 March 2012

    Africa's New Development Trajectory and Opportunities for Global Partnerships. 
    Joel Netshitenzhe: Executive Director, Mapungubwe Institute (MISTRA)
    The framing of discussions on Africa has historically been as important as the content of the discussions themselves. In many capitals of Europe, North America, Asia and Australasia strategies for Africa abound. These have constantly been revised, especially in the past two decades: 
    >As the Cold War ended, and with it the geo-political competition between the forces of capitalism and socialism, led respectively by the United States of America and the Soviet Union 
    >As Africa’s new growth and development trajectory started to take shape more clearly and the vastness of extant natural endowments became clearer 
    >As players such as China, Russia, Brazil, India and Turkey enhanced their involvement 
    >As new dynamics in global security considerations such as “the war on terror” started to play themselves out.
    Given their experiences over many centuries, the people of Africa may be forgiven their sense of déjá vu at these developments, reminded of the General Act of the 1884 Berlin Conference which, for the first time, in an international statute, referred to the notion of ‘spheres of influence’. 
    ​This is because that paradigm in relating to Africa continues to this day. It is an approach that proceeds from the premise that the continent is a passive object of other countries’ and regions’ geo-strategic interests. There is an alternative, more humane and thus more sustainable paradigm. This is informed by a recognition that Africa is populated by a thinking and self-driven people, perfectly capable of pursuing their own strategic objectives and of relating to the world within the context of their own interests. 
    Africa is stepping onto a new and higher growth and development trajectory. The signals may still be faint. The new trend may be fledgling; and there may yet be zigzags and detours. But there is no gainsaying that a new era is upon the continent; and those who wish to succeed in their relations with it will need to frame their approach having fully appreciated and embraced this reality. It is in the context of this paradigm of partnerships rather than others’ geo-strategic interests, that this brief paper will attempt to address developments in Africa and opportunities for partnerships. 
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