Abuja: Africa is at a crossroads. The African Union (AU) summit coming up in Addis Ababa in July is very crucial for the entire continent of Africa. During the last summit, neither of the two major candidates that contested for the chairmanship of the AU Commission was able to get the requisite two-thirds of the votes to emerge winner. Nigeria supported Gabon's Mr. Jean Ping, the current AU Commission chairman, to go for a second term but he did not get it and was asked to continue to hold the office till the next summit where the tie would be broken.
Abuja: South African government may shift the source of its crude oil imports to Nigeria in view of the growing uncertainties in the international oil market occasioned by the Euro zone, American, Asian and Middle East economic and political rumblings. Giving the hint in Abuja during the opening of the multi-billion naira Grand Towers Mall on Wednesday night in Abuja, South African High Commissioner in Nigeria, His Excellency, Kingsley Mamabolo, said importing oil from Nigeria was among other issues discussed at the Bi-National Commission meeting in South Africa this month, adding that if consummated, crude oil exports to the country would boost South African-Nigeria volume of trade in the years ahead.
Lagos: In Part 1 of this essay, I argued that Nigerians hardly benefit economically from the relative peace their country has guaranteed in West Africa at the cost of over $1 billion, more than 1,000 soldiers dead, plus thousands wounded in peacekeeping and peace-enforcement operations. Instead, South Africans are among the biggest beneficiaries of Nigeria’s often emotion-driven Africa-centred foreign policy.
Johannesburg: At a dinner in Johannesburg a few weeks ago, hosted by the South African chapter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Olusegun Obasanjo recalled the early days of the Nigeria-SA relationship that goes back to the 1960s. The two men are seen as representing the "golden age" of the relationship. Obasanjo reminded the audience that Nigerian public servants had a percentage of their salaries docked for SA's liberation struggle and provided thousands of scholarships for black South Africans to study in Nigeria.
Lagos: Seven Nigerian soldiers, part of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cote d’Ivoire, were killed in an ambush on June 8, 2012 while they were on patrol in the town of Tai, near the border with Liberia. Threats of attacks against civilians had prompted the UN operation to strengthen its presence there. The UN Secretary-General warned that more peacekeepers (who have been in Ivory Coast since 2004) may be in danger.
Lagos: Amb. Mokgethi Monaisa, Consul-General of the South African High Commission in Nigeria, on Monday promised easier visa issuance to Nigerians. Monaisa told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that the commission would henceforth make consular services available to Nigerians promptly. “We need to correct some misconceptions about our visa issuance to Nigerians. Entrance of Nigerians into South Africa has never been difficult."
Lagos: South Africa’s state-owned oil company, PetroSA, is not relenting in its efforts to be part of the companies that buy oil from Nigeria. The efforts become imperative in view of the planned sanction against Iran by United States and allied countries aimed at compelling Iran to drop development of its nuclear power. Iran is a major supplier of oil to South Africa.
Lagos: Paul Ohia writes that the Western-led economic sanctions against Iran, played a role in compelling South Africa to turn to Nigeria for its crude oil supply, as well as smoothening the testy relations between both countries through the South Africa-Nigeria Bi-National Commission:
Johannesburg: Former President Olusegun Obasanjo says Nigeria and South African governments must ensure that relationship between the two countries does not deteriorate. Obasanjo, at a banquet held in his honour by the South African chapter of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation (NIDO), on Friday in Johannesburg, said the two countries had a lot to gain from each other.
Johannesburg: The intensifying contest for the chair of the African Commission – which pits SA against Gabon and the continent’s regions against each other – overshadowed the first Global African Diaspora summit in Sandton on Friday. Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, SA’s challenger for Africa’s top government job, was allegedly given a prominent role in the summit events to raise her profile. And tension between SA and Nigeria – which is opposing Dlamini-Zuma’s bid – ratcheted up a few more notches over an apparent switch that turned out not to be a switch in Nigeria’s position.