The flags of Nigeria and South Africa

A Tale of Two African Hegemons: Nigeria and South Africa

Monday, March 12, 2018
6:00 pm
Armstrong Student Center Pavilion

The Grayson Kirk Distinguished Lecture Series was endowed by the Tinker Foundation in honor of Dr. Grayson Kirk, Miami University class of 1924.

Nigeria and South Africa account for about a third of Africa’s economic might, and have led much of its conflict management initiatives over the last two decades and a half. Both account for at least 60 per cent of the economy of their respective sub-regions in West and Southern Africa.  The success of political and economic integration in Africa thus rests heavily on the shoulders of these two regional powers who have both collaborated and competed with each other in a complex relationship that is Africa’s most indispensable. Nigeria remains among South Africa’s largest trading partners in Africa, while both countries have cooperated in building the institutions of the African Union (AU). Both countries have also had a tremendous cultural impact on the continent in terms of Nollywood movies and the expansion of South Africa’s corporate sector into Africa. This lecture assesses Nigeria/South Africa relations in the areas of politics, economics, and culture within the context of rivalries and hegemony. Biographical profiles are also provided of seven important figures from both countries: Nelson Mandela, Sani Abacha, Thabo Mbeki, Olusegun Obasanjo, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Adebayo Adedeji, and Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

Adekeye Adebajo is the Director of the Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPATC) at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. He was Executive Director of the Centre for Conflict Resolution (CCR) in Cape Town, South Africa, between 2003 and 2016. Professor Adebajo served on United Nations missions in South Africa, Western Sahara, and Iraq, and is the author of Building Peace in West Africa; The Curse of Berlin: Africa After the Cold War;  UN Peacekeeping in Africa; and Thabo Mbeki: Africa’s Philosopher-King. He is co-editor or editor of nine books on Africa’s International Relations, including on Nigeria’s and South Africa’s domestic and foreign policies. He obtained his doctorate from Oxford University in England where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, as well as a First Class bachelor’s degree from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria. He is a columnist for Business Day (South Africa) and The Guardian (Nigeria).

This event is sponsored by The Department of Global and Intercultural Studies, International Studies (ITS), and Black World Studies (BWS)

Adekeye Adebajo
Adekeye Adebajo
Exec. Director, Center Conflict Resolution, Cape Town, S.A.