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Remembering Mandela and his Foreign Policy

Remembering Mandela and his Foreign Policy

When I heard the news that Nelson Mandela, our beloved Madiba, was gone, I had flashbacks to the first time I laid eyes on my South African wife. I didn’t know much about South Africa at the time, and for some reason or another I kept calling her “Mandela” over …

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African youth perceptions of the U.S.

African youth perceptions of the U.S.

 
Being an American professor living in Africa and teaching international relations, I have been involved in numerous debates about my country and its foreign policy. Obviously you get your mix, some pro-U.S. and some not.
To try and make better sense of the situation, I decided to embark on a little …

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What shale gas could mean for Southern Africa

What shale gas could mean for Southern Africa

The shale gas debate rages on across Europe, Asia, and North America, but one ponders how the already resource rich Southern Africa fits into this equation. What is there, what is the potential and what could it mean from an economic and geopolitical standpoint?
One country already known to possess great …

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Young Foreigners making an impact in Africa

Young Foreigners making an impact in Africa

 
Last year I blogged about some phenomenal young people from the African continent doing extraordinary things.
This years search was somewhat different. Young People in International Affairs (YPIA) based in South Africa put out a worldwide call for nominations earlier in 2013 to find the top 35 foreigners under 35-years-old making …

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Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Uncle Sam, Uncle Bob and elections in Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans will go to the polls on Wednesday to participate in an election that will be closely monitored by hundreds of foreign observers, mostly from around Africa. One country that will be watching despite Western observer missions not being invited is the United States of America.
Relations between Washington and Harare are …

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Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

Why Obama’s visit is important for South Africa

 
As Barack Obama is about to embark on his historic tour of Africa, many South Africans are asking why it should matter to them. There are numerous reasons why a visit from the President of the United States is an historic occasion.
First, the U.S. helps save South African lives. Since …

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Obama’s 2013 Africa Visit

Obama’s 2013 Africa Visit

It was a story that many people missed. United States president Barack Obama met with four African leaders in Washington in late March 2013: President Sall from Senegal, President Banda from Malawi, President Koroma from Sierra Leone, and Prime Minister Neves from Cape Verde.
A positive step in the right direction …

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2nd Annual Most Corrupt BRICS Country Award

2nd Annual Most Corrupt BRICS Country Award

It’s that time of year again. Another 12 months has flown by. Companies and organizations are celebrating their 2012 achievements and are looking for areas of improvement in 2013. Offices, malls and schools are filled with holiday music and lights. South Africa is no different, but there is some stress, …

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U.S. must tread carefully in Zimbabwe

U.S. must tread carefully in Zimbabwe

Council of Foreign Relations senior fellow Ambassador John Campbell recently released a policy innovation memorandum entitled, “Zimbabwe: An Opportunity for Closer U.S.-South Africa Relations.” It is heartening to see analysts writing on topics they perceive as …

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A ‘Blurry’ Line: UN Peacekeeping in the Eastern DRC

A ‘Blurry’ Line: UN Peacekeeping in the Eastern DRC

United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) peacekeepers have been busy assisting the Congolese brigades over the past week in the fight against rebels known as M23 based in Bunagana. This comes at a crucial time, as the provincial capital of Goma, a military …

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The Boko Haram Knockout Punch is Needed Now

The Boko Haram Knockout Punch is Needed Now

Boko Haram continued their killing on Sunday, 10 June 2012, when a suicide bomber blew up his car outside a church and gunmen opened fire on another service in Nigeria.
At the same time, there is a fierce debate in Washington whether to designate the activities of the Islamic sect, Boko …

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Young African Leaders Making a Difference

Young African Leaders Making a Difference

The news coming out of Africa is almost always negative. Moreover, it almost never touches on the African youth. So for a change of tune, I want to let you know about some phenomenal young people from the continent who are doing extraordinary things.
In January 2012, 

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A new ‘rough patch’ in US-South Africa relations?

A new ‘rough patch’ in US-South Africa relations?

The US-South Africa bilateral relationship over the past eighteen months has been a diplomatic minefield. Issues include everything from military equipment and nuclear energy/weapons to oil, communication companies and the global north versus the global south.
The most recent, and the most serious issue regarding US-SA relations is Iran.
According to a …

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Africa needs its own BRICS aka KENSA

Africa needs its own BRICS aka KENSA


The recent BRICS summit at the end of March 2012 led to a substantial amount of controversy surrounding South Africa’s membership. Various political analysts were seen on television and in newspapers all answering a similar question to this one: Given its economic, military and …

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KONY 2012 Great, But Target These Two African Rebel Groups Next

KONY 2012 Great, But Target These Two African Rebel Groups Next

Eighty million views in such a short period of time. What a world we live in.
Fantastic video. Fantastic initiative. However, for those who follow conflict and terrorism in Central Africa like myself, we know Joseph Kony as only one rebel leader of many; the …

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About the Author

Scott Firsing
Scott Firsing

Dr. Scott Firsing, an American residing in South Africa, is an expert on US-Africa relations. He is the Director of the North American International School (NAIS) in Pretoria, an Adjunct Research Fellow at Monash University, South Africa, an Executive at the Aerospace Leadership Academy and CEO of LINK Advisory, a consultancy helping American businesses enter Africa. Also a founder of the African NGO Young People in International Affairs, Scott is the former Head of International Studies at Monash, a former employee of the United Nations, Department for Disarmament Affairs, and a former fellow at the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).

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