Friday, 26 November 2010

Who has a stake in Southern Africa?

There has been a lot of talk, in the last few years, about the role of China in Southern Africa - largely as a mineral-stealing, unethical, nontransparent, massive-amount-of-money-donating monolith (at least according to -particularly - Western media). But who else has a stake in Southern Africa?

Like Brazil. What role does Brazil play in Southern Africa, particularly with reference to the Portuguese-speaking nations in the region (Angola and Mozambique). The common language and colonial history puts Brazil in a good position to interact positively with these countries. Trade is also on the up.

And of course India, with its special history with, in particular, South Africa, where South Africans of Indian descent are currently celebrating 150 years in the country. Trade and cooperation between India and Africa is already strong and rumour has it an FTA might soon be signed between India and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

Even Cuba plays a small but important role in the region, largely in terms of cooperation and technical assistance, such as this malaria response initiative.

So, people who know stuff, who really does have a stake in the future of Southern Africa beyond China and the ex-colonial powers? (Seriously. I'm really asking.)

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