South Africans need a pan-African identity - analyst

2016-06-10 12:49

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Johannesburg - South Africa’s borders were drawn up out of convenience, which meant it would be difficult to find an identity as a nation, analyst Siphamandla Zondi has said.

South Africans should rather have a pan-African identity, which looked at the rest of the continent too.

“What national identity must I have as a South African when South Africa is an anomaly as a state itself, created out of convenient British imperial foreign policy?” he asked.

Zondi, who is the head for the Institute for Global Dialogue and a member of the SA Council on Foreign Relations, was speaking during a discussion of Liesl Louw-Vaudran’s book Superpower or Neocolonialist? South Africa in Africa at the Institute for Security Studies (ISS), on Thursday.

He said even though nation-states might have worked in Europe, African countries “were inherently never meant to survive as sovereign states”.

“That is why pan-African liberation is an absolute must for Africa.”

Zondi said it was better “to form a pan-African identity and look at a bigger space, which is a bigger market and bigger diplomatic space which can contend with the realities of today, and globalization”.

He said it was not possible for South Africa to find a national identity out of a “compromise agreement which led to a rainbow nation”.

Zondi said a foreign policy had to be formulated out of the tension between the various interest groups in South Africa.

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