the chance to repair relations with the rest of the continent after an
outbreak of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals that left seven
halt attacks on African migrants by mobs wielding machetes and sticks
around Johannesburg and Durban in March and April, South Africa faced
criticism for not responding quickly enough. The African Union, Nigeria
and Zimbabwe publicly condemned the violence.
issue isn’t on the agenda of the African Union summit scheduled to take
place in Johannesburg June 14-15, the government needs to show it isn’t
brushing it aside, said Razia Khan, head of Africa research at Standard
Africa’s reputation within the rest of the region would have been
tarnished,’ she said by phone from London on June 9. ‘This African Union
summit is a good way for South Africa to reach out to the rest of
Somalis, Ethiopians, Malawians and Pakistanis as competitors for jobs
and business opportunities in a country with 26 percent unemployment.
One fifth of the population of 54 million survive on less than 335 rand
($28) a month.
the Organization of African Unity in 2002, and seeks to promote
continental unity, integration and development. Zimbabwean President
Robert Mugabe holds the group’s rotating chairmanship, while former
South African foreign minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma heads the AU
commission, which runs its day-to-day affairs.
inherently linked to that of the rest of the African continent,’ South
African Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane told reporters in
Pretoria, the capital, on June 8.
ministers attended preparatory meetings for the summit on Thursday,
Anthony Maruping, the AU’s commissioner for economic affairs, told
reporters in Johannesburg. They discussed how Africa can finance and
implement a 10-year development plan, promote ease of movement on the
continent and gain greater benefit from its natural resources, he said.
The summit will focus on ensuring that women play a bigger role in
Africa’s economy and addressing the continent’s security challenges.
Those include upheaval in Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza is
seeking a third term that his opponents say is unconstitutional, and
insurrections being waged by Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabaab in
Somalia and Kenya.
establish a free-trade zone on the continent, which would create a
market with a combined gross domestic product of $2 trillion.
The first steps toward the establishment of the bloc were taken this
month when three regional trading groups — the Common Market for East
& Southern Africa, the East African Community and the Southern
African Development Community — agreed to a free trade accord.
The summit ‘is a wonderful opportunity for South Africa to take the lead
in plans to form a new trade bloc’ and to say ‘the xenophobic attacks
were isolated,’ Ian Cruickshanks chief economist at the
Johannesburg-based South African Institute of Race Relations, said by
phone on June 9. ‘This is an opportunity for South Africa to go and say
we are able to work for Africa and this is what we want to do.’