Select Committee on Foreign Affairs Minutes of Evidence

Written evidence submitted by The Royal Institute of International Affairs

  This memorandum highlights key areas that we think the Committee should focus upon. We also provide the Committee with a list of the Royal Institute of International Affairs' (Chatham House) Africa programme experts available for consultation and a select bibliography of articles, books, and monographs for background information.


    —  To assess how South Africa's new parliamentary institutions are functioning. It would be illuminating to focus on the Portfolio Committees, particularly the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, which scrutinised the defence contracts and the corruption charges arising there from, which involved some foreign companies.

    —  Britain's role in facilitating a reduction/elimination of trade barriers for African goods, especially agricultural commodities, within the EU. To what extent might this benefit small-medium black farmers, in the light of the South African Government's renewed commitment to land redistribution and agricultural development?

    —  To what extent is Black Economic Empowerment being reoriented to tackle mass poverty, rather than (as some critics claimed) to nurture a small black elite? And what mechanisms are being contemplated for job creation?

    —  Focus on the land issue in South Africa. How are events in Zimbabwe influencing debates and policies in South Africa, such as the ANC's Youth Commission policy on land?

    —  Look at the South African policy towards HIV-AIDS and the impact of this policy.

    —  South Africa and the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD). Does South Africa dominate NEPAD, and how does this influence its diplomatic efforts? What is the impact of NEPAD outside Southern Africa?

    —  South African diplomatic initiatives in Africa. How has South African foreign policy been decided and who makes the decisions? What influence has the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, UK, over this and what are the successes and failures?

    —  Expansion of South African business and investment in Africa. How does this compare with UK penetration of emerging markets. What are the lessons for the UK?

    —  What is the role of South Africa in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) and where is SADC going?

    —  What type of support is the UK giving to civil society, particularly grass-root groups working on education, health-care and public order issues?


  From October 2003, the Africa programme at RIIA will hold a series of meetings and workshops to mark the 10th anniversary of South Africa's transition to majority rule entitled "South Africa's role in Africa: engine of development and/or emerging regional hegemon?" The series is convened by Merle Lipton and will be launched on 27 October with Essop Pahad, Minister in President Mbeki's Office, speaking on "South Africa's global and African political strategy". On 29 October, Jeffrey Herbst, Professor of African Studies at Princeton University will provide and assessment of "International responses to South Africa's strategy". Members of the Committee are welcome to attend these and other meetings. Details or this series are available from the Africa programme at Chatham House:

Expertise Available From the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House

  Chris Alden, Associate Fellow, RIIA

  Chris Alden is a specialist on South Africa's foreign policy and co-author of the forthcoming Adelphi paper: "South Africa's Post-Apartheid Foreign Policy: Africa's Last Best Hope?" He is also a lecturer at the London School of Economics and Political Science and from 1990 to 1999 was a Senior Lecturer in the International Relations Department, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

  Heather Deegan, Associate Fellow, RIIA

  Heather Deegan is a specialist on democratic change in South Africa and author of the book "Politics of the New South Africa: Apartheid and After". She is also a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University.

  Merle Lipton, Associate Fellow, RIIA

  Merle Lipton is a South Africa expert and published widely on various issues including on land, labour & livelihoods in rural South Africa and the State & Market in post-Apartheid South Africa. She is also a research fellow at the School of African & Asian Studies, Sussex University.

  Alex Vines, Head of Africa Programme, RIIA

Alex Vines is a specialist in regional security and light weapons proliferation. He has published widely on the proliferation of light weapons in southern Africa and has also researched South Africa's foreign policy in Africa. He is a senior researcher at Human Rights Watch.

The Royal Institute of International Affairs

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