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In May 2019 the African National Congress (ANC) won another, though this time unconvincing, electoral victory in South Africa. President Ramaphosa has to deal with a difficult political and economic situation after the “State Capture” of the network around former president Jacob Zuma. Ramaphosa’s “New Dawn” pledges of economic growth and anti-corruption have so far not been implemented with the desired effectiveness, not least due to intra-party disputes within the ANC. At the same time, the largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), struggles to find a new strategy after internal disputes and the election of a new leadership which raises new questions about the role of opposition parties and coalition building.
In our discussion we will explore the current political developments in South Africa’s party landscape, investigate the most important challenges (the economic situation, inequality, corruption and public sector re-forms) and the strategies of political parties in order to deal with the problems the country is currently facing. We will also explore the effects of the developments in South Africa on the neighbouring countries of Namibia, Botswana, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. If the predictions for the outcome of the elections in Namibia are confirmed on November 27, we might find that in nearly all Southern African countries the incumbent presidents or governments will be re-elected. Is this to be understood as a step towards further democratization or should it be seen as a missed opportunity to abandon old path dependencies?
These topics, with particular reference to developments in South Africa and Namibia, will be discussed with our two panellists:
- Professor Roger Southall: Department of Sociology, Wits University Johannesburg, South Africa / Editor of "Elections 2019" and "The New Black Middle Class in South Africa"
- Professor Joseph Diescho: Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Humanitarian Law, University of Bonn / Former Chairman of the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) and Speechwriter of Nelson Mandela
20:15h Welcoming Remarks
Dr Annika Hampel
Managing Director of the to be established Africa Centre at the University of Freiburg & Merian Institute for Advanced Studies Africa (MIASA)
20:20h Panel Discussion
Professor Joseph Diescho
Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Humanitarian Law, University of Bonn / Former Chairman of the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAM) and Speechwriter of Nelson Mandela
Professor Roger Southall
Department of Sociology, Wits University Johannesburg, South Africa / Editor of "Elections 2019" and "The New Black Middle Class in South Africa"
Policy Advisor Southern Africa, Department for Subsaharan-Africa, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung
21:30h Closing Remarks
Professor Heribert WeilandVice chairperson Board of Trustees and former Director, Arnold-Bergstraesser-Institut Freiburg