Date: 26 September 2017
Time: 10h00 – 12h00
Venues: Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town
The relationship between Russia and South Africa and the rest of the African continent is traceable to the time of the continent’s struggles for decolonization and liberation in the early 1950s. Russia contributed tremendously to this struggle theoretically and militarily. The Russian revolution marked the beginning of the struggle against capitalism, imperialism and colonization. It later on inspired the nationalist movements on the African continent, and contributed to the theoretical understanding of imperialism, capitalism and colonization among the leaders of these nationalist movements. From 1945 until 1989, global politics were characterized by a hegemonic contestation between the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the allied powers led by the United States of America. This contestation polarized the world into the West, propagating Capitalism, and the East propagating Socialism. Many African leaders located their struggle for the decolonization of the African continent within the influence of the East, led by Russia. The ultimate collapse of the USSR in 1989 and the Berlin wall marked a new era in global politics. 28 years later after the collapse of the Soviet Union, it is critical to reflect on the influence of Russia in global politics, paying particular attention to its foreign policy for Africa. This is critical, because of what is often criticized as an emerging “sub-imperialist” bloc in global politics, the BRICS. This ambassadorial forum will address Russia’s foreign policy towards South Africa and Africa, Impact of Brexit, BRICS and the increasing protectionist tendencies that are emerging.