Geopolitical shifts require African countries to make a considered choice

Dear editor, One of our unique differentiating values at Good Governance AFRICA (GGA) is incisiveness. We cut through the noise to bring you what you need to know. In a time of growing global instability and information over-load, it’s more important than ever to be able to read between the lines.

Geopolitical shifts require African countries to make a considered choice about their future global alliances. In that respect, I have recently argued that while foreign policy missteps have certainly been made by the US, and the rise of Trump is worrisome on a number of levels, it is dangerous for Africa to succumb to the idea of the US's demise and the growth of a more multipolar international order. For one thing, the US remains – by a wide margin – the most powerful country in the world in terms of "hard power", that is, economic and military might.

I am not suggesting that African governments should unthinkingly side with the US, but rather that they need to build close ties with reliable future partners that have strong and sustainable economies. My article, published in Business Day last week as well as in our latest AIF Insights, explores this further, along with the podcast of my related interview on Radio 702 with Bongani Bingwa. As much as African countries should pay attention to their long-term interests through foreign policy choices; they also need to pay close attention to their domestic constituencies. Across sub-Saharan Africa, there are 20 elections to be hosted in 2024 alone. South Africa is 30 years into its democracy, which will host elections in May (most likely). For this reason, the upcoming State of the Nation address, delivered yesterday, could not be more important.

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