Intergenerational reflections on world affairs

A group of Philosophy Post-Graduate students from the University of Johannesburg took time out of their studies to exchange views on the state of global affairs with former President Thabo Mbeki.

The meeting at the Thabo Mbeki Foundation focused on recent global developments, including Brexit and the recent US elections and to assess the impact these will have on the African continent. They also discussed the middle-east, specifically the role of Turkey and its influence in the Maghreb region.

President Mbeki provided his views on the recent US Presidential elections results: the implications for US-Russia relations and for the African continent. He also shared his thoughts on South Africa- US relations since 1994, emphasising the need for African countries to build the capacity to negotiate and implement trade agreements.

Citing the Africa- China relations as an example, the President lamented the failure by African countries to  take advantage of agreements signed with China. He also pointed to the failure by African countries to ensure that foreign investors abide by laws that are designed to benefit the citizens of host countries.

The President also urged African countries not to go outside of the AU process of engaging the International Criminal Court. The African Union is due to consider a report in its January 2017 summit on regarding its engagements with the ICC and concerns raised by member states about the ICC’s role in Africa.

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