March 2009: SAIIA Staff in the media spotlight

Image: Getty, Drew Angerer
Image: Getty, Drew Angerer

With Libya assuming the chairmanship of the African Union in February this year, many media practitioners have turned to SAIIA for a better understanding of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's vision towards a united Africa.

Kathryn Sturman, Steven Gruzd and Terence Corrigan all commented on the matter, which was syndicated in the international media by organisations such as the BBC News, SABC News International and the Pan African Newswire.

With Zimbabwe still a leading story, George Katito spoke to the international media agency Agence France-Presse. His comments were syndicated to various print and broadcast media as well as a number of international online publications. George Katito also wrote a column for The Zimbabwean, entitled ‘How to raise enough money to make history: Lessons from the Obama presidential bid’. As Zimbabwe begins to finds its feet again, George Lwanda contributed an editorial piece for the Cape Times on whether Zimbabwe should adopt the South African Rand.  Tim Hughes was a guest commentator on local and international radio to discuss the settlement of the government of national unity in Zimbabwe.

The historic inauguration of US President Barack Obama dominated media discussions in the latter parts of January. Elizabeth Sidiropoulos, Tim Hughes and Ross Herbert were present at a live coverage of the inauguration with the E News Channel and Tom Wheeler did the same on SABC 2. Tim Hughes was further invited by talk radio stations, SAFM and Cape Talk to comment on the legacy of outgoing president, George W. Bush and the subsequent problems besetting President Obama’s cabinet choices.

South African policy issues also had an international affairs focus. Tim Hughes was interviewed by the Los Angeles Times on the decision of the Pretoria High Court finding aspects of the Electoral Act to be unconstitutional. As many South Africans are rethinking their visits to the United Kingdom, Terence Corrigan was interviewed by the Mail and Guardian on the revocation of visa-free access for South African passport holders to the UK.

The Development through Trade programme contributed a number of editorial pieces for publication.  These included a piece for The Exporter by Tsidiso Disenyana, entitled ‘Southern and Eastern Africa FTA: A myth or reality’. Peter Draper’s piece in the Financial Mail, ‘Rising to the Protectionist Challenge’ will be featured in an upcoming issue.