The Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD) and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) invite you to a strategic dialogue titled: South Africa in the World 2020: Between Pragmatism and Ideology.
The world has had to reorient its thinking, rapidly, to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic. Many discussions are centred around how countries are dealing with the crisis; but looking forward this is an opportune moment to discuss how South Africa deals with black swan events. South Africa’s response to the virus has been lauded internationally by the WHO; Ramaphosa had issued a state of disaster in March 2020 and entered a period of nationwide lock down. However, the severe impact on the economically vulnerable and micro, small and medium businesses has re-emphasised socio-economic inequalities. The South African economy, already under pressure, is facing additional pressure from the global economic slowdown; and with the credit downgrade from Fitch, impacting on international investor confidence and application for loans from the IMF, World Bank, AfDB and NDB, South Africa finds itself in a precarious situation. Most countries of the developing world find themselves in similar situations, and socio-economic implications of the virus will impact on Africa’s growth and development.
Although some responses reinforce international cooperation, much coordination has been to reinforce a regional focus in the reality of the Covid-19 outbreak. South Africa would pursue its role as a norm entrepreneur/shaper and bridge builder across multilateral institutions, as well as bilateral strategic engagements in the context of its African agenda. South Africa, currently chairing the AU, is faced with a number of crucial points; the tensions in Mozambique, Libya and South Sudan, dynamics around the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) and the Silencing the Guns agenda. As well as the AfCTA, which was expected to commence trading in July. In this context, how will South Africa use the resources at hand to ensure that this will not be another lost decade for Africa?
Francis A. Kornegay, Senior Research Fellow, IGD
South Africa’s Africa engagement in 2020
Moderator and discussant:
Sanusha Naidu, Senior Research Associate, IGD
Catherine Grant Makokera, Director, Tutwa Consulting
If Zoom capacity is full, please view the event on the IGD Facebook page or YouTube channel