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Africa Consultative Meeting: Bringing African voices together

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Inclusive Society Institute

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Views expressed in this report do not necessarily represent the views of the Inclusive Society Institute or its Board or Council members.


May 2024


Author: Klaus Kotzé

Editor: Daryl Swanepoel




Introduction: Bringing African voices together


Setting the scene and objectives of the meeting


The role of intellectuals in Africa’s development


South Africa and Africa’s multilateral engagements


African perspectives on the state and development of China-Africa relations


North African perspective


West African perspectives


Central African perspective


East African perspectives


Southern African perspective


Reviewing the purpose and objectives of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the role of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF)


Current state of security and stability in Africa


Introduction to the Global South Perspectives Network and the Global Resilience Council


The need for an African Fragility Index


Conclusions and recommendations

 1. Introduction: Bringing African voices together


On 26 and 27 February 2024, the Inclusive Society Institute hosted the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting. The meeting brought together the representatives of leading African think tanks, representatives from the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF), partners from the Global South Perspectives Network, and invited guests representing the South African government.


In a fast-changing global environment where countries of the global south, and African countries in particular, remain underrepresented, there is an urgent need for these countries to engage and critically contribute to the security and development of the continent. Simply put, African insights are required to ensure that African interests are advanced. The continent cannot wait for or depend on others to develop their interests. At present, Africans are not doing enough to cohere and advance the continent.


Too often, African representatives only meet at fora that are organised outside of the continent. Recognising the lack of cooperation between African thought leaders on substantive political and socio-economic issues affecting the continent, the Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) decided to host the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting. This and future meetings seek to provide a space for African think tanks to discuss issues and initiate understanding regarding the security and development of the continent.


There is rarely a consolidated continental position when African think tanks represent their different countries at global fora. When there is alignment, it is more the consequence of chance. Recognising this concern, the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting sought to explore mechanisms to develop a consolidated position that will advance development and peace and security on the African continent. Such a position would then form the basis for African delegates’ representations at global fora.


The inaugural meeting first sought agreement from delegates that this is indeed a concern, and then agreed to rigorously pursue a collective position. One that will advance the interests of all member states, and the continent as a whole.


As a first opportunity to gather a consolidated position, the inaugural meeting requested the representatives of the various African regions to assess their region’s relationship with China. The meeting also invited representatives from China, allowing discussions on the China-Africa relationship, with a particular focus on the work of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF) and the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC). Consensus through discussion will form the bedrock and aspiration of the meeting as it develops into a seminal platform for African thought.


The participants in the meeting included, amongst others:

  • Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Head of Policy, African National Congress and former Deputy Chief of Staff, African Union Commission

  • Hon Alvin Botes MP, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

  • Prof Wei Xu, Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University, China

  • Ms Ariella Liu, Director of the South Africa – China Think Tank, based at Nelson Mandela University Business School

  • Mr Zine Barka, Head of Academic Chair, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Algeria

  • Prof Assi Kimou, Deputy Director of Cellule d’Analyse des Politiques Économiques du CIRES (CAPEC), Côte d'Ivoire

  • Dr Ndiakhat Ngom, General President of the South-South Transatlantic Institute, Senegal

  • Dr Melha Rout Biel, Executive Director of the South Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), South Sudan

  • Prof Francis Matambalya, Executive Director of the Nyerere Foundation, Tanzania

  • Prof Omar Mjenga, Centre for International Policy Africa, Tanzania

  • Dr David Monyae, Co-Director of the University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute

  • Mr Priyal Singh, Institute for Security Studies

  • Ms Buyelwa Sonjica, Chairperson of the ISI Advisory Council and former Cabinet Minister

  • Hon Faiez Jacobs, Senior Member of Parliament: African National Congress

  • Ms Jenny Wu, Africa Chinese Women’s Association

  • Dr Georgios Kostakos, Executive Director of the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability


 2. Setting the scene and objectives of the meeting


Dary Swanepoel, CEO: Inclusive Society Institute 


The Inclusive Society Institute hosted the Africa Consultative Meeting with the objective of bringing together think tanks from across Africa to consider, discuss and develop policy proposals that will advance development on the continent. It is the belief of the Institute that African think tank representatives travel all over the world arguing the case for Africa. They meet each other abroad, but do not sufficiently meet on the African continent to engage and synchronise toward a common position prior to international engagements.


The Institute, therefore, decided to put together the Africa Consultative Meeting with the objective to go some way in building a collaborative approach between African think tanks. This meeting saw eight think tanks participating, drawn from north, west, east, central, and southern Africa. It aimed to serve as an embryo for setting up an annual consultative meeting amongst likeminded African think tanks for the purpose of dialoguing substantive political and socio-economic issues confronting the African continent. The idea was to prepare these think tanks for engaging in various international conferences on the basis of a more composed contribution.


This meeting served as an exploratory one. If agreed to and proven successful, the hope was to open it to other think tanks and hold the meeting on an annual basis. The meeting’s deliberations would seek to consolidate a collective African position on major contemporary challenges facing the continent. It would further seek to integrate these positions and the participation of African think tanks into the broader Global South think tank community.


The second objective of the meeting was to discuss Africa’s approach to multilateralism and its relationships with regional formations. In this regard, the meeting saw various presentations offering the perspectives of the different regions in Africa, assessing the state of China-Africa relations, with specific emphasis on African proposals to further strengthen cooperation, and to compile and present a synthesised African position on China-Africa relations to the CATTF.


Thirdly, the meeting introduced the concept of the African Fragility Index and sought cooperation among participants for its development.


Lastly, the think tanks would be introduced to the Global South Perspectives Network, a grouping of academics, policymakers, former senior government and United Nations officials and diplomats. Convened by the Brussels-based, Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability, the Network will introduce its thinking around the idea of a Global Resilience Council.



3. The role of intellectuals in Africa’s development


Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Head of Policy, African National Congress and former Deputy Chief of Staff, African Union Commission

The establishment of an intra-African think tank forum to consolidate African views at fora such as the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum is an excellent objective for such a meeting. Pan-African intellectuals have played a central role in the history of the continent, paving the way for the anti-slavery and anti-colonial movements. These intellectuals have played an active part in the anti-colonial struggles, with debates discussing the construction of post-independent states, and debates about African federation and Africa’s struggles with structural adjustment.


Intellectuals again played a central role in the early 1990s, with the freeing of Namibia, followed by the freeing of South Africa, and a renewed focus on how to get the continent back on track. They were also pivotal in the discussion about Africa’s renaissance and the formation of the African Union, its ancillary policy frameworks and, eventually, Agenda 2063.


Think tanks are seen as essential in responding to the escalation of African coups, of which there have been thirteen in the last three years. Think tanks must look at these complex issues and then advise African policymakers, leaders, and governments on the best way forward. Similarly, the link between the African Union Agenda 2063 and the sustainable development goals is seen as harbouring some concerns that need to be analysed by intellectuals.


Furthermore, issues of integration on the continent remain important. Focus needs to remain on the complex diversity of African integration, from what is happening in different regional institutions to the movement of people and the African Continental Free Trade Area.


Much progress has been made since the launch of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) in 2000. The launch of the African Union, and its transition towards playing an important role in changing the approach to peace and security, has been foundational – so too has the formation of institutions such as the African Peer Review Mechanism.


With all the developments on the continent, think tanks, due to their autonomous structures, continue to be paramount. They must employ their independence to pursue critical ends.


Another significant point regarding think tanks is: they must learn from each other. The meeting therefore offers a wonderful opportunity for think tanks to get to know each other, to discuss central concerns, and to find pathways to work together going forward. It is useful to be joined by Chinese colleagues, in the format of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum. African think tanks can draw much from the experience of China, particularly looking at how to strengthen planning and capacity.


Drawing from Chinese experience does not put Africa in the camp of China. Instead, and similarly proclaimed by Pan-African Kwame Nkrumah, Africa should not look east or west, it should look forward as the African continent. From this approach African states must build friendships with all friendly states, finding pathways for development.


4. South Africa and Africa’s multilateral engagements


Hon Alvin Botes MP, Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Foreign policy has traditionally been state centric, and the role of non-state actors has not necessarily been fully appreciated. This meeting, brought together by the Inclusive Society Institute, shows how non-state actors have a pivotal role to play regarding the architecture of ensuring the inclusive prosperity that is envisaged in Agenda 2063. This unity of purpose relates to what the intellectuals think and what is executed upon by the people’s representatives.


From the perspective of the relationship between South Africa and the People’s Republic of China, there are several critical issues about which the intellectual community should have a unity of purpose. Noteworthy is the role that China has played in assisting to build the African continent – a contribution that stems from its pro-poor programme. Although this partnership has been based on the common good, it has also been fraught with complexities because of Africa’s own subjective weaknesses. For example, the failure to find commonality in implementing the Abuja Treaty, which spoke to the unification of the African continent based on economic solidarity. African representatives should develop this thinking and produce meaning not only for its relations with China, but for other major partners and blocs.


FOCAC has played a substantive role in developing the people-to-people relationship. Through FOCAC, the first Agenda 2063 ten-year plan was executed, a very noble intent in relation to the plight of the African people. The South African approach was said not to pursue narrow national interests, as national interests are not reconcilable with the Pan-African outlook. Rather, South Africa sought to ensure that it remains true to the founding values of the organisation of African unity. For this reason, South Africa welcomed the full operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement.


For South Africa to be an ambitious African state would be in its national interest. It is in the people’s interest to show what the Chinese have done to eradicate poverty. Targets should be set to eliminate income poverty; however, this can only be done if there is the political commitment to ensure that the trade basket will substantively change. After discussions with the ambassador of China, a commitment has been made to achieve this – a commitment to increase bilateral trade by R100 billion. This is significant, but it will be more valuable if that R100 billion speaks to beneficiation and value addition.


Last year, 2023, was a very positive one for South Africa in terms of cementing its relationships with the African continent. It was also a positive year for the relationship with China. Not only was the strategic dialogue convened, but South Africa was also able to convene the people-to-people dialogue mechanism, and in particular, South Africa received the Chinese president for his fourth state visit.


This Africa Consultative Meeting must produce research outputs that African states can draw from when attending FOCAC and other strategic meetings. It is important to rally together and aggregate a common voice of Africa in relation to these engagements. That is why academia and institutions have a pivotal role to play – ensuring a multiplicity of voices.


The message should be the same in terms of what needs to be done between Africa and China in the FOCAC programme. There is much uncertainty about what non-state actors think should be the G20 priorities for South Africa in 2025. At present the government is besieged with requests for engagement on the intragovernmental level. But there should be some indication, not only from South African research institutions, but from the entire African continent, of what should be the development agenda of the G20 plus the AU in 2025.


FOCAC will remain an exemplary form of South-South cooperation, premised on a win-win approach. It is a very important mechanism to ensure that inclusive prosperity based on socio-economic development is achieved. It is important that this forum, amongst others, should be thoroughly engaged. Despite the fact that the government does not have an internal policy and research repository, it does call on progressive intellectuals to make contributions on foreign policy.


These progressive institutions should be equally critical as to how government executes its foreign policy, and this criticism should be realistic in terms of details. As for the Chinese, they see in Africa a partner to achieve their goal of building a modern socialist country in all respects. They see in Africa a reliable, not only ideological, partner. A development partner. It is in Africa’s interest to be true to the founding values of the African Union, which speaks to the centrality of a Pan-African outlook.


5. African perspectives on the state and development of China-Africa relations


It is recognised that China is an increasingly important partner of the continent. Many African states have recently established or developed their relations with China. While these relations have seen advances, including the increase in the volume of trade, China-Africa relations are not new and have deep historical significance. Both sides supported each other in their shift towards independence in the previous century. This initial support from independence has ensured that various African states have walked an extensive path with their Chinese compatriots, culminating in cooperation and partner contracts, principally through the Forum for China Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), and often under the Belt and Road Initiative, China’s flagship foreign policy programme.


At a recent Africa Consultative Meeting organised by the Inclusive Society Institute, one of the topics that came under scrutiny was Africa’s relationship with China. In an attempt to find a synchronised African position, the participating think-tanks from across Africa came to a number of commonly agreed conclusions.


Africa must learn from China while remaining independent


The partnership between Africa and China offers tremendous opportunity for Africa’s development at a time when its relations with traditional Western partners have come under strain. It is in the interests of African states to be ambitious. It is, therefore, in Africa’s interest to look at what the Chinese have done to pursue development and eradicate poverty. Targets should be set, and programmes drawn up to ensure that goals are met.


While African states should draw from Chinese experience when it comes to industrialisation and development, this does not necessarily mean that African states are in China’s ‘camp’. Nor should they seek to copy the Chinese. Instead, on the similar basis as proclaimed by Pan-African Kwame Nkrumah, Africa should not look east or west, it should look forward as the African continent. From this approach African states must build friendships with all friendly states. They must develop regional and independent pathways that are fit for purpose.


Africans must ensure greater internal security and stability, so to spur further investment. Africans must take ownership of their affairs and not simply blame others. In this vein, China should not be blamed when African states cannot repay their debts.


The Africa-China partnership: Concerns of a Chinese bias


The meeting agreed that African states should not overly rely on any external parties. Relations should be balanced better. Africa must be more of a partner than a philanthropic beneficiary or customer. The relations between Africa and China, still appears to be biased towards China, thus not yet giving full effect to the agreed notion of a mutually beneficial relationship between the two sides. More needs to be done to ensure African development, technology transfer and the buildup of expertise.


Political intelligence and commitment are required to address these biases. It is incumbent upon African leaders to have a thorough understanding of their own local realities, so as to raise the perceived imbalances with their Chinese counterparts.

It is encouraging that the Chinese are displaying tangible commitments to address imbalances. One such example, is the case of South Africa, where China has committed to increase bilateral trade by R100 billion. Another is the opening up of the Chinese market to more imports from Africa -  and it is facilitating the competitiveness of African products through zero--rating import tariffs on a growing number of products from the continent.


Yet, it will be more valuable if that R 100 billion speaks to beneficiation and value addition.


The trade balance between China and Africa has long been in China’s favour. African governments need therefore to do more to ensure greater balance. The continent must become more of a partner than a customer. Here African states must stand up to achieve their own industrial autonomy and overall independence.


Africa must uplift itself


To prevent over-reliance on any external party, African states must uplift themselves. While various concerns were heard about skewed relations with others, including China, it can be argued that it is primarily Africans who were letting Africa down.


More needs to be done by Africans to understand their own realities and the needs of the continent. Research and more programmatic studies are needed so to ensure that they know what it stands for and they need to empower themselves to pursue their own future with confidence. Greater knowledge of self will allow the continent to better develop its own strategies, as well as better perceive its worth.


A deeper, longitudinal understanding of partnerships, the structuring of loans and the effect of foreign investment will also allow greater balance in its relationships with external parties. Presently, Africa does not sufficiently know holistically where partners, including China, are investing and what effect it has on the continent. Greater knowledge will allow it to strategically partner with all sides and draw maximum benefit. With a growing population, Africa needs to invest in itself to bolster employment. By pursuing its own industrial autonomy, Africa will diversify and rely less on others.


Setting its own targets and strategies is important for Africa. In recent years, African states have sent strong signals that they need to extend its relationship beyond the West. This is a turning point that deserves reflection. They need to engage widely to ensure that relationships are not skewed at the expense of others given that it is in the continents interest to have productive relationship beyond the East/West divide.




Whilst Africa’s partnership with China is central to its interests, the relationship must shift more rapidly from the current bias in China’s favour, to the mutually-beneficial vision that the two sides share. To ensure mutual benefit, Africans must take ownership and better perceive and strategically pursue their interests. They must engage in global fora from a calculated position that effectively pursues a consolidated continental strategy.

5.1. North African perspective


Mr Zine Barka, Head of Academic Chair, Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO), Algeria


Many African countries have recently established and developed partnerships with China. The policy priorities for North Africa, while similar to other African states, are unique. In some countries China has become the first commercial partner, replacing some traditional partners. In Algeria, for example, where it used to be France, now it is China.


These developments beg certain questions, including: What is the novelty of such a new partnership? How is it different to other commercial relationships? How is it more suited to the African countries? And finally, how can these relations between the continent and China be boosted to make them profitable for both countries and what issues stand in the way and need to be addressed?


Central to these questions is to look at how the partnership between China and Africa brings potential benefits for the economies involved. Another salient point the speaker raised is to ask whether the Chinese African partnership is mutually beneficial.


When Algeria was under occupation by France during the 50s, China supported the Front de Libération Nationale (FLN), the socialist revolutionary party, at an early stage. China was the first non-Arab country to recognise the FLN as the Algerian provisional government in December 1958. Between 1958 and 1962 China assisted the armed wing of the FLN by providing funds, arms, and training for Algerian officers. After Algeria gained independence in 1962, China continued to fill the void left by France after 132 years of occupation. Algeria received aid and material bought from the socialist Eastern Block, the former USSR, Yugoslavia, Cuba, and some other countries such as Egypt and Syria. China provided the US$15 million low interest loan to Algeria.


Right from independence, China has supported Algeria. When the Algerian Civil War loomed in 1992, the established socialist economic path underwent significant changes. The mismanagement in the preceding period led to national assistance by the IMF under significant conditions or structural adjustments and debt rescheduling. In the early 1990s Algeria undertook to define the system management vote, thus concretising the transition to a more liberal economy based on the exchange of goods and services carried out directly by individuals.


With the opening of the economy and lifting the monopoly on trade, Algeria turned to China. Several cooperation and partner contracts were signed between the two countries to strengthen their relations.


In 2014, the Algerian bilateral relationship became a comprehensive strategic partnership that was the first of its kind in the Sino-Arab world. In 2018 Algeria joined the Belt and Road Initiative and then, later, the three-year plan for cooperation in some strategic areas was signed. Finally, in July 2023, the Algerian president made an official visit to Beijing to elevate the new partnership to a global dimension, giving it a bigger role. As a result, the two countries signed 19 cooperation agreements, memorandums, in valued sectors such as rail, transport, technology transfer, agriculture, cooperation, communication and sports.


The partnership agreements to facilitate and strengthen cooperation between China and Algeria have created apprehension for Algeria’s new small local enterprises, who cannot compete with the Chinese products. The key challenge facing North African economies is job creation for the growing population. With a growing population, Algeria needs to invest in itself in order to bolster employment. The speaker stressed that it is important to assess exactly where China is investing and what effect the investment has had.


The trade balance – which has long been in China’s favour – is another important aspect to look at. This is a government concern and needs to be more balanced, as the Algerian state has funded most of the projects undertaken by the Chinese companies. There has also been little transfer of technology or expertise to the Algerian society.


Despite the efforts made by Algeria, the country’s main challenge is still to diversify the economy – to move away from oil and to create more business opportunities. Furthermore, it is also essential to improve the business climate to achieve better economic growth and to reduce food dependence. There is an urgent need to establish data on contracts and trade between the two countries to enable empirical studies to assess the effects of trade on both countries and to suggest alternatives.


In conclusion, the partnership between Algeria and China is a highly valuable one but cannot remain in its current bias towards China.


5.2. West African perspectives


Prof Assi Kimou, Deputy Director of Cellule d’Analyse des Politiques Économiques du CIRES (CAPEC), Côte d'Ivoire


Central in the relationship between China and West Africa is the structuring of loans, foreign direct investment, and private sector investment. These all come with certain challenges. The cooperation between China and Africa and Côte d'Ivoire specifically, requires political will. This political will gained momentum in the early 2000s, with former President Laurent Gbagbo, who sought to diversify the state’s economic partnerships and give Côte d'Ivoire an opportunity to address the infrastructure deficit.


The increase of support from China challenges the traditional support from and business with France, West Africa’s historical partner. The shift towards China represents a turning point for West Africa, with clear changes in states such as Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, and Senegal.


Furthermore, sectors that can address the issues of productivity and competitiveness are supported. In these sectors, West African countries such as Côte d'Ivoire have a new major partner in China.


Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) has significantly increased in the region of West Africa. While FDI from China remains low compared to France, it is increasing, especially from state-owned businesses. FDI has increased by 15.6% between 2012 and 2021, with most companies being based in Abidjan. This is said to be a challenge, though, due to the concentration of capital in only one area. What is encouraging about Chinese operations in Côte d'Ivoire is that 89% of employees are African, however, these processes are focussed on local markets.


The Chinese promote exports to Africa and not African export-led production. The trade imbalance is of serious concern, as products are entering Africa but not the other way around. More must be done to have African goods enter the Chinese market.


While China has supported African countries, their debts are still growing, with African states not growing fast enough to repay these debts. Corruption is another devil that plagues further cooperation. So too is the low level of skills and technology transfers.


A further challenge for China-Africa cooperation is the language barrier. French is deeply rooted and has historical significance, while the citizens of Africa consider English to be the best language to learn for international cooperation. The Chinese language only accounts for 3%, so this remains a barrier. In response, China is supporting academic development on the continent. Yet, while the Chinese are setting up Chinese cultural programmes, there is very little knowledge of Africa or African studies programmes in the Chinese academy. This is something to be addressed.


Dr Ndiakhat Ngom, General President of the South-South Transatlantic Institute, Senegal


Building trust should be at the centre of Africa’s relationship with China. Africa and China have historically had fruitful relations, reflecting a good example of South-South cooperation. It is a relationship that was built on three essential phases.


Firstly, China supported African countries in their struggle for independence and their development programme.


Secondly, Africa played a decisive role in the recognition of China in global governance when its vote in 1971 ensured China’s access to the United Nations. Mao Zedong recognised this debt and expressed his gratitude.

The last phase was in 2000, with the formalisation and intensification of relations, in similar fashion to this meeting, within the framework of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum.


Twenty-four years after its creation, FOCAC has become the reference point for China-Africa. Due to its industrial competitiveness, China sees Africa as a strategic trading partner – with China receiving a steady supply of raw materials, energy, fishing, agroforestry, and mining benefits. In return, African countries benefit from improvements to roads, ports, airports and infrastructure, and diversification of trading. Geopolitically, both parties share the vision of a more just and equitable world, supporting each other at the United Nations in order to influence decision-making. Finally, the enlargement of BRICS to include Egypt and Ethiopia in 2023 is said to represent a significant milestone for South Africa, and Africa. 


Despite these obvious successes, there have also been concerns in the relationship. As was the case with the France-Africa relationship in the past, the China-Africa connection not only brings praise but raises suspicions and criticism too. Four sectors stand out in this regard: the skills, economic, environmental, and geopolitical areas.


The first area is skills and technology transfer. China has set out to train 564 directors and teachers at vocational schools in Africa each year. China also plans to invite 20 000 government officials and technical professionals from African countries to seminars and forums. In addition, to support the development of African capacities in science, education and innovation, China will implement a cooperation programme between 100 Chinese and African higher education institutions. It will launch ten pilot projects between China and African partners.


Training and technology transfer are essential to the industrialisation of the emergence of Africa – the African population is young, dynamic, and demanding this training.


Economically, China’s direct investment in Africa is US$3.4 billion in 2022, making China the fourth-largest foreign investor in Africa. This investment brings growth but there are also many interests in labour. There needs to be more equal economic cooperation in which China invests in industry activity that requires technology transfer. Currently, its main sector of activity is construction and energy, an area of high demand for often low-schooled labour.


A better balance is required, where Africa becomes more of a partner than a customer. African states must stand up for achieving their own industrial autonomy, by looking at China’s own trajectory when it developed through its own initiatives. China has surpassed many developed states and has achieved significant feats in design and production of innovative goods and equipment. Likewise, Africa must invest in local schemes to gradually gain its own autonomy.


Setting its own targets and strategies is important for Africa. In recent years African states have sent strong signals that they are unhappy with their relationship with the West. This is said to be a turning point that deserves reflection. Platforms such as FOCAC and CATTF have a role to play in preventing such a skewed relationship with China.


A few recommendations in conclusion: the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum must set goals for its analyses; in West Africa it is imperative to carry out a study to evaluate the relationship between the migration and the fishing crisis; and lastly, a report should be drawn up that assesses the possible impact of FOCAC to help it with decision-making. In short, cultivating wisdom and a capacity for listening and anticipation is the message that Senegal wants to impart upon FOCAC.


5.3. Central African perspective


Dr Melha Rout Biel, Executive Director of the South Sudan Center for Strategic and Policy Studies (CSPS), South Sudan


China-Africa relations have grown significantly over the last 40 years. China is now one of Africa’s biggest investors and donors, identifying Africa as a source of its ambitious programme of economic, diplomatic political development. With the help of African resources, China has become the second strongest economic global power. However, despite all of its promise, there is a growing worry about the future cooperation between China and Africa when it comes to loans and debts. In this area, it is imperative for the CATTF to engage African as well as Chinese policymakers, avoiding mistakes and crises in the future. African states must prove what the loans are for, and  they must agree to payment terms.


China has projected itself as a voice for developing countries but faces a lot of criticism, particularly from the West. China is recognised as the largest developing country in the world, while the African continent is recognised as the continent with the most developing states. Both China and Africa are believed to share a post-colonial experience, which is another point of cooperation between them.


The role of think tanks is imperative to ensure a preferable China-Africa relationship. Critical assessments – particularly regarding unpayable debt – are needed as China and Africa grow closer together in many areas.


The problem of unpayable debt is not one that is singular to China. Since 2010 African public debt has been growing extensively. In fact, data from December 2022 indicate that African countries have accumulated billions of dollars in debts. The IMF and the World Bank consider that at least 22 low-income countries in Africa are either in debt distress or are at high risk of debt distress as of November 2022. According to the experts, debt distress means that a country is having problems with solving its debt obligations.


The high-risk debt burden could endanger African economic growth and development. Africa is already facing challenges such as conflict, insecurity, drought, dislocation, unemployment, and insecurity. Were this situation to continue, Africa will not be able to deal with pressing issues such as development, meeting obligations, and achieving the UN sustainable development goals.


For China, Africa is one of the biggest beneficiaries of Chinese bilateral lending. The West accuses Beijing of debt trafficking, but this criticism has been rejected by China. The Western University Group Development Policy Centre shows that the Chinese debt to Africa varies widely across the continent. Further research suggests that Chinese policymakers are taking an increasingly hard line when lending to Africa. According to the speaker, these measures should be applauded.


Africa’s funding problems should not only require foreign support. Africa must invest in itself, in its own developments and support its own businesses. Not enough is being done in this regard. By investing in Africa, the continent will actively fend off escalating inflation.


Africans must also ensure greater internal security and stability, so as to spur further investment. When Africans take ownership of their own affairs, they do not blame others – China in this case – when they cannot repay their own debts. The problem is with those who ask for a loan and then cannot pay it back when they are not abiding by the rules of the procedure. They cannot blame China for that. China is not the problem, Africa is. This is something that think tanks must critically assess and contribute to.


5.4. East African perspectives


Prof Francis Matambalya, Executive Director of the Nyerere Foundation, Tanzania, and Prof Omar Mjenga, Centre for International Policy Africa, Tanzania


Africa’s relationship with China is not a new one. Tanzania and China have developed and defined a friendship over a significant period. The socialist Tanzanian policies, known as Ujamaa, were influenced in association with China.


In Tanzania several tracks of cooperation have been built with Chinese colleagues. The Julius Nyerere Leadership Institute is but one. It was constructed by the Chinese as a present to the parties that spearheaded the liberation of Africa. Based in Kibaha, about 60 kilometres from Dar es Salaam, the Institute is an international organisation owned by six political parties, namely, Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from Tanzania; FRELIMO from Mozambique; African National Congress (ANC), South Africa; MPLA, Angola; ZANU-PF, Zimbabwe; and SWAPO, Namibia. Together they own the Institute, a very impressive, very modern institution.


The Institute pursues work across various programmes, covering issues including peace, unity, and development. These were issues dear to Julius Nyerere and are central to China. At present the Institute is pursuing independent programmes in five areas. They involve, but are not steered by, Chinese institutions.


Current programmes include a Nyerere Legacy Week, where the legacy of Nyerere is kept alive through workshops, commissioned papers, and talks. Usually, about three-to-five scholars are commissioned to do in-depth research of Nyerere’s ideas, to see how they could be applied in the current context and what could be learned to inspire the youth.


Furthermore, cultural activities are organised to remind everyone where they come from. This year, the funding of this programme came from a Chinese company. The other projects seek to leverage Chinese knowledge and experience to help Africa charter its way forward – for instance, there is a strong focus on industrialisation from the Chinese model. A further programme looks at the hospitality industry, which is an area where there is huge potential for growth.


Altogether, East Africa wants to leverage China’s experience, and promote sustainable industrialisation on the continent. But it also wants African partners to drive its own development. This meeting offers a very serious opportunity to bring think tanks together – for far too long African think tanks have been working in isolation. It is imperative to come up with a forum to take Africa forward.


There are six areas that the Nyerere Foundation believes will take the world forward: peace, defence, security, foreign policy, international relations, and gender, women, and marginalised societies.


Together, think tanks must design ways of cooperation. There are already various foreign-steered fora in Africa; it is time that it designs its own, for its own development. It is the role of think tanks to conduct research and factfinding to advise governments on their decision-making processes. Often, the failures of governments, are the failures of think tanks in that country.

 5.5. Southern African perspective


Dr David Monyae, Co-Director, University of Johannesburg Confucius Institute (UJCI)

The Africa Consultative Meeting represents a significant milestone. Whereas some delegates met in China previously, it is important that Africans meet each other on the continent and that the different think tanks get to know each other, find agreements and similarities on how to approach their relationship with China, eventually pursuing Agenda 2063.


It is shocking that even though African think tanks get invited by other states, including China, for meetings and briefings, they do not receive the same treatment in their own countries. Think tanks hardly meet each other to discuss issues, which is why this meeting represents a first. A first, held on African soil, to meet and discuss the important issues that affect the various institutes attending the gathering.


The meeting is a reminder of the seminal 1955 Bandung Conference, where Africans and Asians met to discuss shared global grievances such as colonialism, imperialism, development, and the United Nations and its agencies being unbalanced in favour of the developed world. There they discussed technology transfer, the lack of cooperation, cultural matters and more.


Today, a new Cold War has emerged. The more things have changed, the more they appear to have stayed the same. The US has remained the dominant power in the West, the UN remains untransformed as it was then, Africa remains the poorest, while Asia has grown significantly.


Even though states are independent, they are not enjoying their freedoms, due to political and economic restraints. Global issues have a disproportionate effect on Africa, and with the emergence of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, Africa is destined to be left behind even more if it does not improve its skills and knowledge. While Africa is confronted with crises emerging from outside the continent, the bulk of the crises that Africa faces are of its own making. African states need to cooperate with each other to solve these crises, with guidance  from external relationships.


The most thriving of these relationships is Africa’s connection with China. However, there are key issues that need to be addressed. And in order to do this, a reappraisal of FOCAC is needed.


In the 24 years since FOCAC was established, the depth of mutual understanding between Africa and China has flourished. The forum developed into a principled organisational framework and forms the foundation of the relationship, giving it stability and predictability. It is a platform for China and Africa to discuss both high and low political matters, from international affairs, peace and security, and economic cooperation to education, cultural exchange, youth, and women groups. The forum has grown in leaps and bounds both quantitively and qualitatively. At the inaugural gathering in 2000 only 44 African states were represented. In the last meeting, in 2021 in Senegal, a total of 53 African states including the African Union Commission were represented.


Since its first meeting, the length of the action plan has expanded four times over, which signifies a more comprehensive relationship. The forum now has 28 subforums, including the Investing in Africa Forum, China-Africa People’s Forum, and the China-Africa Law Enforcement and Security Forum, amongst others. The subforums are earmarked to focus on specific areas of cooperation between China and Africa.


There are also 21 special purpose instruments such as the China-Africa Joint Business Council, China-Africa Products Exhibition Centre, China-Africa Chamber of Industry and Commerce, China-Africa Youth Festival, and the UNEP China-Africa Environment Centre. These instruments are also meant to streamline and facilitate cooperation in selected areas.


Furthermore, the forum has developed implementation and monitoring mechanisms at three levels. At the apex is the ministerial conference, which meets every three years to deliberate on and adopt declarations and action plans. The senior official meeting consists of senior directors from member country’s ministries that meet twice a year and a few days before the forum takes place.


Through these interactions, it often appears that China knows more about the continent, than the very Africans representing the continent. This is evidenced in that China invites African think tanks for briefings, in Africa and China, but the same is not done from the African side. The level of resources, researchers, and analysts, is also hugely imbalanced in favour of China.


Africa needs to be more serious about its research. It needs more complex studies to understand its relations with its strategic partners, to understand where strategic interests converge. Africa needs to evaluate its partners so that it can form a basis upon which to determine its strategic interests. Presently, it is a free flow, with heads of states going everywhere, without specific purpose – this is not strategic. Africa needs to be more intentional about who it takes seriously. The forums in which states engage should also be structured better, with formal agreements and clearly delineated outcomes.


The Chinese take African concerns seriously. For example, when African leaders complained about the imbalance of trade, President Xi opened up agricultural trade with Africa to correct that. However, the greatest imbalance is that of raw materials leaving Africa. By allowing this, Africa is exporting jobs. Beneficiation is imperative, and China is important in this regard, but Africa needs to demand that others also help with this issue.


Africa must not underestimate the power that it has. Its own development banks should come together and ensure that when Chinese companies are working on the African continent, that they do not go it alone.

Africa remains too fragmented, with a lack of unity and understanding. Worse, African states compete with each other, instead of working together. Although internal trade remains at a lowly 15-20%, there are opportunities. The biggest of which is the African Continental Free Trade Agreement, which has the power to bring significant change to the continent.


6. Reviewing the purpose and objectives of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and the role of the China-Africa Think Tanks Forum (CATTF)


Prof Wei Xu, Deputy Director of the Institute for African Studies, Zhejiang Normal University and Ms Ariella Liu, Director of the South Africa – China Think Tank, based at Nelson Mandela University Business School


China and its people wish to engage with Africa. In February, the speakers were joined by students from China on a fieldtrip through South Africa that led to an appreciation of the country’s natural landscapes, wildlife reserves and cultural heritage. The students also took part in the Spring Festival in Johannesburg, which was very well attended, particularly by South Africans, proving that South Africans are also interested in China.


FOCAC was officially launched in Beijing in 2000 and is a product of China-Africa cooperation. However, it was not China but the African countries that first put forward the idea of establishing a China-Africa cooperation mechanism. With South Africa being the most developed African country, a China-Africa cooperation mechanism could not be established before it initiated diplomatic relations with China in 1998.


The core mechanism of FOCAC is a ministerial meeting held every three years, alternating between China and the African countries. China will host the next session of FOCAC in 2024, which will be the second time that Chinese and African leaders will gather after the 2018 FOCAC Beijing Summit.


Each meeting results in a joint declaration and action plan on the basis of full consultation between China and Africa. It shows that from its existence, FOCAC has had different dialogue mechanisms with African countries compared to the former colonial powers, reflecting the originality, equality, and the initiative of African participation. And since its establishment in 2000, FOCAC has demonstrated that it is a platform and a mechanism for China and Africa to engage in collective dialogues, consultations, and equal and pragmatic cooperation.


FOCAC has promoted the leapfrog development of China-Africa cooperation in various fields. With its pioneering spirit of equal consultation, pragmatic cooperation and keeping pace with the times, it has become a prominent brand of China’s multilateralism and has promoted the leapfrog development of China-Africa cooperation in various fields. It has advanced equal consultation, pragmatic cooperation and has become a prominent brand of China’s multilateral diplomacy under the banner of south-south cooperation. It is also a platform for Chinese and African leaders to meet regularly. The action plans for China-Africa cooperation, launched every three years, outlines the blueprint and the implementation parts for China-Africa cooperation in various fields.


At the political level, the FOCAC hosting a ministerial meeting and a summit every three years allows the leaders of China and Africa to exchange ideas with each other. This helps the two sides strengthen mutual political trust and communicate on major international issues.


FOCAC’s economic action plan covers most aspects of trade, investment, contracting of engineering projects and development assistance. It also formulates measures to achieve the development goals in each area.


And since 2008/9, China has been Africa’s largest trading partner. At the people-to-people exchange level, it was said that there are more and more Chinese people investing in and visiting Africa and more and more Africans going to China to study and do business. China-Africa people-to-people exchange has expanded to fields of ideas and joint research. China has offered about 120 000 government scholarships to African students, co-funded 61 Confucius institutes and 44 Confucius classrooms in 46 African countries.


It has dispatched 1.11 million medical team members to 48 African countries. And has treated about 220 million African patients and established 150 pairs of friendship cities between the two sides. The public opinion, based off China-Africa friendship, is becoming more and more consolidated.


Since its establishment, FOCAC has adhered to the spirit of being driven by African needs, doing practical work for African people, reducing poverty and promoting development.


FOCAC has closely integrated with the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). So far, 52 African countries under the African Union Commission have signed the cooperation documents on the BRI with China, making Africa one of the most important continents participating in the BRI.


With regards to the China-Africa Think Thanks Forum (CATTF), the forum has developed since the 2010 speech delivered by Chinese President Xi Jinping in South Africa. The CATTF was launched the following year in Hangzhou. It has been highly important for China-Africa academic cooperation.


Since inception, the CATTF has had 12 sessions organised alternately in China and Africa. The topics, concepts and focus points are determined through consultation, with the core issues being those that concern both sides. The China-Africa Think Tanks Forum has become a widely influential academic forum in China and on the African continent, and even in Western countries.


The CATTF platform allows Chinese and African scholars the opportunity to enhance their international influence, by creating a new model of academic participation and performance. It is not only an annual event for Chinese and African thinkers and academics to engage, but also a forum for Chinese and African politicians to interpret the policies and express their views freely. After more than ten years, the forum has become an institutionalised platform for dialogue and exchange between the diplomatic, academic, think tank, business and media communities in China and Africa.


Furthermore, the CATTF has brought together current African scholars, think tank experts, government officials and so on. Here, they have enhanced their communication and cooperation. It has created a favourable platform for the academics and politicians and for the scholars and officials to rely on each other and support each other, thus forming an aggregation effect.


All previous CATTF meetings have attracted intensive coverage by national and international media outlets, which has quickly and widely disseminated the current Chinese policy towards Africa and the strategic ideas and the significance of China-Africa cooperation.


7. Current state of security and stability in Africa


Mr Priyal Singh, Institute for Security Studies


This presentation focusses on the overarching contours and broad trends of the current international peace and security landscape, and the African peace and security landscape, in particular. In summary, globally things are not looking too good at the moment. The inevitable end results of longstanding governance deficits and weak public institutions is stunted economic growth and development, ongoing growth and operation of violent extremist radical groups and radical non-state actors, as well as widening inequality across the international system coupled with the volatility and fragility of the international trade and financial system.


Many of these longstanding, pervasive and deeply rooted challenges have been exacerbated by emergent conflict stressors including the Covid-19 pandemic, increasing concerns over cybersecurity and the spread of disinformation online, as well as the overarching existential threats we all face posed by the climate crisis.


Many of these issues have been left inadequately addressed by international actors, which has led to popular uprisings, armed conflicts, prolonged insurgencies, and terrorist activities. And these threats are felt much more acutely, especially across the African continent, during critical periods surrounding electoral processes or during times of political transition.


The confluence and interplay of these various factors, amongst many others, have informed the trajectory of conflicts across the world’s many conflict belts or zones. But this is only one part of the story. The contemporary African peace and security landscape places much of the blame squarely at the feet of state actors, which remain the single most important and influential actors within the international system.


The experiences of the last few years compel a much more critical view of the role of nation states in initiating and compounding, shaping, and prolonging the conflicts that we all seek to address as the international community.


The research of the Institute for Security Studies has noted how even a simple thing like access to humanitarian aid has become politicised within multilateral bodies. This is due to the myopic, shortsighted interpretations of national interest, which can lead to devastating results over longer term frames of reference for human security. Not just in Africa, but across the world.


This is happening at a time when the world has arguably developed its most sophisticated models and technical approaches to things like UN peacekeeping, AU peace support operations, peacebuilding, post-conflict reconstructions and development. All of this based on a wealth of data, historical lessons learned and official reviews, and the fruits of this are not seen or experienced. These approaches are simply not being employed or deployed effectively due to a lack of political will, compromise, and strategic foresights on the parts of member states.


The international order is said to be at a point where powerful countries are increasingly pursuing narrow geostrategic interests outside of the established global rules-based international system. They are increasingly circumventing the system, pursuing unilateral actions, and promoting what we often refer to in the field of international security as a greater sense of pragmatic adhocism.


There is also massive underinvestment, both in terms of financial and diplomatic resources, in facilitating ongoing conflict resolution efforts on the part of its member states, be it bilaterally or multilaterally. And consequently, the sustainability and the predictability of international responses to conflict have been a massive and persistent concern for far too long.


The greatest challenge confronting Africa, and the international peace and security landscape in general, is the failure of politics amongst state actors. The linkages between conflict stressors and structural drivers and root causes of conflict are evident. The challenge is primarily political in nature. It is imperative for state actors to forge robust and practicable political strategies to facilitate the use of the tools at their disposal. Furthermore, to achieve levels of consensus and compromise, the continued deployment and operation of the various conflict resolution models is necessary.


In order to pursue and develop the political solutions necessary to anchor effective conflict resolution mechanisms, the world must remain cognisant of a somewhat uncomfortable truth that states must become more active in dealing with the issues at hand. This must happen at a time when the multilateral, institutional order has become increasingly opaque. Civil society and the international community must adequately reflect on the implications of these issues from a long-term human security perspective. And from an international rules-based perspective. Only once these issues are resolved can there be a significant reinvigoration or renewal of the various multilateral institutions.


8. Introduction to the Global South Perspectives Network and the Global Resilience Council


Dr Georgios Kostakos, Executive Director of the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS)


The Global South Perspectives Network is a collaborative initiative of the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (Brussels), the Humanitarian Journalism and Media Interventions research group (Sao Paulo), and the Inclusive Society Institute (Cape Town). The Network gathers international affairs, sustainability and communications experts from Latin America and the Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East. The Network recognises that the Global South remains under-represented in the UN. It sees the role of civil society in the UN reform process as imperative and works to promote civil society organisations directly in this process. At present, the participation of non-state actors is dominated by big companies that promote their interests, the underprivileged countries, and the peoples of the South.


While civil society should be represented, measures should be taken to ensure that representation is not skewed towards the North, who have big pockets. Structures to properly represent the citizens of the world are imperative. Yet, there is a perception in developing countries and their civil societies that the UN is a western construct. That, like a guest, they can go to the UN agencies and demand official assistance. These states are members and must co-own and co-shape the next phase of global governance.


This is the goal and orientation of the Global South Perspectives Network: to have a positive impact, to grow and be consolidated in many ways in different countries, to include respected institutes that have influence over public opinion and can influence governments with positive proposals. This must be done so that the UN will be different and really belong to all the people and all the countries of the world.


The idea of the Global Resilience Council is similar to the Security Council but for non-military threats. The establishment of the Council would be to enable the UN to respond to multidimensional crises from the level of self-standing intergovernmental bodies to an inclusive multilateral platform. If set up, the Council would address global non-military threats such as climate, health, and economic crises that find no adequate response at lower levels of governance. It would be created to involve both state and non-state actors, including scientific advisory bodies and the UN system entities.


The current infrastructure is inadequate at addressing unfolding crises such as climate change. The Security Council could not simply securitise climate change; it cannot be solved by a 15-member body that is not representative. From countries and regions to individual people, when trade breaks down, when there is disease and no vaccines, the world needs a consolidated place to go. Resilience is central to all these matters and will become more important as poly-crises develop.


It will be in the interest of developing countries to support such an inclusive idea. It would have no vetoes, no permanent members that can control it in the manner of the Security Council. Also, it will have a more integrated connection to civil society, science, and even companies and other non-state actors in the process of decision-making and in the process of implementation. The idea of the Council has been put before the secretary general’s Common Agenda report, which is providing the framework for the Summit of the Future consultations. The concept is still developing, but there is hope that the think tanks and their governments will support the initiative.  

9. The need for an African Fragility Index


Daryl Swanepoel, CEO: Inclusive Society Institute


The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) decided 18 months ago to develop an African Fragility Index. After developing the first phase of the Index, it was clear that an index that drew mostly from secondary databases would be incomplete and insufficient.


When doing country analyses, there were glaring omissions in the data. Matters of fact were not showing up in the data. And the data was not providing sufficient information on actual affairs, such as the manifold military interventions taking place across Africa. The Institute concluded that it would be preferable to deal with and draw from people who were closer to the areas of concern. People that can assist in putting more relevant primary data into the database.


The African Fragility Index would be a tool to aid policymakers and political decisionmakers in assessing whether peace and security on the African continent is stagnating, progressing, or regressing. The Index would be developed and published annually. Initially, it will only offer a snapshot of the current state of security affairs, but over time it will prove to be a useful tool that assesses trends on the continent. And in time it will show the progression from one year to the next. It will then be possible to draw deeper insights over time. The Institute is looking for an association of members to last for at least five years, which would allow a similar approach to a set of questions over a period of time.


This approach will not only point out the state of affairs in a specific country but also look into specific elements, the variable elements that constitute conflict. According to the measures in place in the Index, conflict is constituted by religious conflict, territorial conflict, civil unrest and civil conflict, political suppression, terrorism, and inequality.


The Index would constitute a country-by-country analysis, which will be done via a desktop study and through gathering empirical data by regional policy experts. The ISI invites the other institutes that gathered for the Africa Consultative Meeting to participate in this programme.


The intention is to capture a feeling on the ground in each of the African countries, drawn together as a summary report, which analyses the presence of conflict for each of the variables identified. A narrative will then emerge that offers a snapshot of the situation on the ground.


From there a panel of three security experts would verify the information and offer a score that would detail the level and degree of, for example, religious conflict. The same will be done for each of the variables. The second step is to have a Likert-type scaling done with five possible scores attached to each.


Lastly, there would be a judgement-orientated evaluation with a mitigation strategy to counteract subjectivity. This would be where the three expert evaluators look at and verify the results through verification methods. The process is then expressed in a multi-variant table containing six columns. This allows for the specific variables to be ranked and a narrative drawn out that will substantiate the scores.


For this project to be successful, for the Index to take off and become a legitimate resource for policymakers, the Inclusive Society Institute would be looking for collaboration from the institutes present. Ideally, a think tank for each of the five regions present would take responsibility to populate the table. They would be ideally suited as they are close to the ground and, therefore, understand what is happening in the region. In each of the areas, they would guide the process and populate the templates. The policy experts will then go through and verify that information and do the necessary analysis.


The various institutes would accordingly co-own the publication and this meeting will become an annual workshop anchored by the African Fragility Index. The different institutes would then be invited annually to attend the workshop in Cape Town, to go through the report and to find consensus before its publication.


The report would form the basis for presentations to fora such as the Istanbul Security Forum, which is a new security forum that has been established to look at peace and security through the lens of the developing world rather than the developed world. The Index could potentially also be used to engage other fora, especially the African Union Peace and Security Council.


All the preparatory work has been done. It would now be about getting credible data. The institutes that gathered for this meeting are invited to join the programme and play a profound role by populating the data of their neighbouring countries.


10.         Conclusions and recommendations


At the conclusion of the meeting, it was resolved that:


  • The participating African think tanks agree to establish the African Academic Consultative Network (Network) to act as an early warning system on matters confronting the African continent; and to drive its collaborative policy and advocacy work;

  • To this end the Network will meet:

(1) quarterly and ad hoc when necessary (digitally) to monitor and advise the work of the Network; and

(2) in person annually in Cape Town to consolidate and steer its work;

  • The Network will engage and encourage other credible think tanks within their regions and sphere of influence to join the collaboration established at the inaugural Africa Consultative Meeting;

  • The Network will develop a synthesised report from the deliberations at its Consultative Meeting that discusses its individual positions and on strengthening Africa-China relations, which should advance mutually beneficial development between the two sides in parallel to those with their existing and traditional, and other, cooperation and trading partners; and

  • To this end, they would approach the Institute for African Studies at the Zhejiang Normal University to partner and work with the Network in advancing dialogue and policy development to promote such mutually beneficial development;

  • The convening institutions be mandated to seek additional international fora for consideration by the participating organisations to engage with, to advance the African development within a more just, sustainable, and fairer world;

  • Participants will also seek participation in the Global South Perspectives Network as a means to be involved in the discourse aimed at promoting an inclusive, more effective and fairer multilateral dispensation in which Africa is more equitably and justly represented;

  • Peace and security on the African continent are worryingly volatile, requiring a more focussed, sustained, holistic strategy to reduce the fragility of the continent; and

  • To this end the participating organisations will collaborate in research and advocacy aimed at addressing the peace and security deficit on the continent.

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This report has been published by the Inclusive Society Institute

The Inclusive Society Institute (ISI) is an autonomous and independent institution that functions independently from any other entity. It is founded for the purpose of supporting and further deepening multi-party democracy. The ISI’s work is motivated by its desire to achieve non-racialism, non-sexism, social justice and cohesion, economic development and equality in South Africa, through a value system that embodies the social and national democratic principles associated with a developmental state. It recognises that a well-functioning democracy requires well-functioning political formations that are suitably equipped and capacitated. It further acknowledges that South Africa is inextricably linked to the ever transforming and interdependent global world, which necessitates international and multilateral cooperation. As such, the ISI also seeks to achieve its ideals at a global level through cooperation with like-minded parties and organs of civil society who share its basic values. In South Africa, ISI’s ideological positioning is aligned with that of the current ruling party and others in broader society with similar ideals.

Phone: +27 (0) 21 201 1589


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