Our foreign policy work aligned to strategic direction of DIRCO

Photo © Artem Bali/Unsplash
Photo © Artem Bali/Unsplash

On Friday, 15 June 2018, SAIIA’s senior managers met with members of the Diplomatic Training, Research and Development Branch at the South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) headquarters in Pretoria.

The meeting was attended by Branch DDG Ambassador Mathu Joyini and chaired by the Director of the Policy, Research and Analysis Unit, Ambassador Delarey van Tonder. Both institutions discussed the importance of collaboration between DIRCO and SAIIA on understanding the global shifts in power, the challenges to the multilateral system and the implications for how South Africa’s foreign policy is shaped for the 2020s.

At the meeting, SAIIA presented the recent outcomes of their policy-focused research on Oceans Governance and the Blue Economy, the establishment of a SADC Regional Development Fund, and SAIIA’s engagement on the G20 and BRICS. SAIIA also presented a new methodology that it is developing to generate more future-forecasting related work, through its newly constituted Regional Observatory.

As DIRCO prepares for its broad review of the strategy and focus of South African foreign policy, framed within an intensive interrogation of how to communicate South Africa’s national interest to ordinary South Africans, it also asked SAIIA to present its thinking on these issues and undertook to reach out to the Institute in further work it will be doing in service of its theme for the year: South Africa in the World Today.

SAIIA welcomes the opportunity to have engaged with national government and a key stakeholder in this manner. It welcomes also the suggestions made by DIRCO to the Institute’s broader research agenda and will heed the call to focus greater research efforts towards better understanding the impacts of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and progress made towards “Silencing the Guns” – the AU vision for ending conflict on the continent by 2020.