SAIIA’s 75th anniversary celebrations went into fifth gear in September, culminating in a two-day conference on assessing Africa’s position in a new world environment. Not only did the conference feature keynote speakers such as former AU and Malian President, Alpha Oumar Konare, Minister Trevor Manuel and Deputy Minister Ebrahim Ebrahim, but international guest speakers from all over the world were in attendance to contribute to the debate.
Most notably, SAIIA played host to speakers like JoshuaSetipa from the WTO in Geneva; Alex Vines from Chatham House, Rajesh Rajagopalan from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Professor Osita C. Eze from the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs and Dr Andrey Urnov from Russia. Topics ranged from geopolitical and global commons’ challenges for Africa to its relationship with the great powers, and its role in global governance.
The conference, which was open to all SAIIA members, was also attended by prominent members of the diplomatic community, government, business and academic communities as well as affiliated institutions in South Africa. In keeping with SAIIA’s key objective of stimulating public debate members of the audience were afforded the opportunity to participate in the discussions.