“SA cannot escape its African destiny”, wrote Nelson Mandela in a famed article in Foreign Affairs more than 30 years ago. It was a recognition by a statesman on the cusp of taking power that a part of the economic and diplomatic future of SA was inescapably interwoven with developments on the continent.

The transformation of SA and the continent’s economic base would require, as Mandela observed, “greater economic co-operation between the countries of the continent and the reshaping of trading networks”. Only through such co-operation, he suggested in the same article, would Africa cease to “be a battleground by contending forces in wider international conflicts”. ..

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