Within the organizational machine of the G7, G7 engagement groups are the form in which the G7 Presidency by interacting with the civil society builds trust with its citizens on their issues of concern. The African focus the Italian G7 Presidency gave to this year’s Think Tank Summit has specific reasons. Development of the African continent is a cross-cutting theme for the Italian Presidency and many African leaders have been invited to the forthcoming G7 Summit in Taormina for a G7 outreach session specifically devoted to innovation.
Has the new South Africa – once an inspiring “rainbow nation” – failed the expectations it had generated? Is the country now in a crisis?
Two decades after the end of the apartheid regime, Africa’s southernmost state faces multiple political, economic and social challenges.
A lackluster growth performance is compounded by mounting corruption and political turbulence, as well as by the frustration of many ordinary citizens who expected much more rapid social and economic improvement.
Labour strikes, student protests and anti-immigrant riots have all been on the rise. As a clear sign of increasing dissatisfaction, uncertainty and decline, the ruling African National Congress recently ran into its worst electoral result ever – if still only at local levels.
Meanwhile, Jacob Zuma’s embattled presidency, marred by allegations of corruption and political cronyism, sent South Africa’s international image plummeting alongside the Rand, the national currency.
This volume sheds light on the current difficulties and discusses future prospects. The “new” South Africa is a country in dire need for change.
While the summit of the world's twenty major economies is approaching, the United Nations 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development (2030 Agenda) is about to turn one year old. Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and 169 targets set the scene for economic, environmental, and social progress over the next 15 years.
Introduction Africa has been changing fast over the past fifteen to twenty years. Both the growth performances and the international image of the continent went through surprising U-turns, from widespread stagnation and pessimism to unprecedented progress and new prospects. The turnaround of economic performances began as early as the mid-1990s and led to a number of sub-Saharan countries achieving record growth rates for the better part of the following decade. Economic recovery, in turn, fostered a dramatic improvement in the way the continent was perceived and represented by the international media, where talk of ‘Africa rising’ or ‘emerging Africa’ became gradually more frequent, stimulating a growing interest in the region.
Africa’s economic development and the Sustainable Development Goals With the launch of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in September 2015, the world shared a new commitment to a future where women and men in all countries can live a decent life with full respect for human rights and dignity. For Africa this is a special challenge due to the large number of people who daily face conditions of vulnerability. The idea of ‘sustainable development’ that led to the SDGs originated from several contributions.
The African continent is a rich mosaic of socio-ecological systems, abundant natural resources, varied agricultural production supported by tropical climates, vibrant and diverse cultures and heritage, and active and growing economic centres. However, high and enduring rates of poverty and social inequality, which have been exacerbated through legacies of neo-colonial development policy (trade liberalizations, land reforms etc.), are underlying causes of limited productivity, land and resource degradation, and the inability of those with the greatest need to fully benefit from natural resources.
Migration is sustainable when it meets the needs of countries of origin, transit and destination, while accompanying migrant populations without depleting natural and human resources Under what conditions do we consider migration sustainable? What do we mean by sustainability of migration in an age when more people are on the move on a global scale? What does this mean with regard to the specific case of the African continent? While intra-continental African migration has decreased by approximately 38% in the last 15 years, the number of people moving from one African country to another is still greater than the number of those leaving Africa for Europe by approximately 68.5%.
Africa and the Middle East are the two regions of the world with the highest conflict burden. Since the mid-1990s, Africa has gradually improved across all measurements of death and war (Figure 1). These positive changes are due to several factors, including greater regional cooperation, decreased intrastate wars, economic growth, and increased democratic governance.
The types of conflicts have also changed: from wars of independence, long term civil wars, and intrastate wars, conflicts are now due to weak governance structures and state presences which are exacerbated by religious and ethnic differences as well as to transnational crime and global governance failures.