Tswalu Dialogue

Trade, Development and Security: All Sides of the Same Coin?

The Tswalu-Dialogue, an initiative of Jeniffer and Jonathan Oppenheimer, aims to provide a forum for political leaders, diplomats, business people and academics to discuss matters of critical importance to Africa's development.



The Tswalu Dialogue commenced in 2002 as an initiative of Jennifer and Jonathan Oppenheimer in conjunction with the South African Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA).

The Dialogue provides a unique forum for political leaders, diplomats, senior military strategists, business people, policy analysts and academics to discuss matters of critical importance to Africa’s development. The opportunities presented to Africa are as great as the challenge it faces, and it is thus a key objective of the Dialogue to promote creative new thinking on Africa by growing a network of the most influential people from across the broadest possible range of constituencies.

The 2002 Tswalu Dialogue considered three areas relevant to the creation of the logic of stability and prosperity in Africa: The heterogeneous nature of the performance of African states; the problems experienced by the West in developing appropriate policy solutions to assist African countries in meeting such challenges as aid and debt relief; and the role of non-state actors in creating conditions of African prosperity.

The 2003 Tswalu dialogue had a number of aims, including gaining a critical understanding of the failure of dysfunction of large states such as Nigeria, Sudan, Angola, the DRC and Ethiopia. Other debate themes included the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) and the consequences of the Iraq war for Africa.

The theme of the Tswalu Dialogue in 2004 was “Global Challenges and Africa: Bridging Divides, Dealing with Perceptions, Rebuilding Societies”. The title was selected as a response to the deepening crisis in Iraq and the Middle East as well as from a general concern about Western perceptions of Africa and African perceptions of the West. In order to examine recent models of external intervention in African conflict and explore new international policy responses to crises on the continent, the Dialogue sought greater participation in this round from top military officials and non-state actors such as business leaders. Discussions focused on conflict resolution, security challenges, obstacles to democratization and the impact of global developments on Africa. The 2004 event was hosted with the financial assistance of Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS) and the Ford Foundation.

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Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, Northern Cape, South Africa