South Africa has variously styled itself as a “bridge” between the North, the global South and Africa as well as a “gateway” into the continent. It also sees itself as a spokesperson for Africa, given its membership of the alliance of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa BRICS and the G20. It has declared its commitment to the continent’s Africa agenda, the African Union’s ambitious development plans characterised as “Agenda 2063 - The Africa We Want”. But how do Africans beyond South Africa’s borders view the country? What are the perceptions of the country’s role on the continent? Are these aligned with the way in which the country perceives its role and influence on the continent? In a recent round of interviews with senior African Union officials and observers of continental politics in Addis Ababa, headquarters of the African Union, we asked people about their views on South Africa’s African policy and actions. The agreement was that the interviews would be dealt with ...

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