Business Books

Is South Africa a continental superpower and/or neo-colonialist?

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Liesl Louw-Vaudran, Africa analyst and freelance journalist for his weekly business book review.

Louw-Vaudran discussed her latest book entitled “Superpower or Neocolonialist?”

Description on Tafelberg.com:

South Africa is undeniably a continental powerhouse.

Local corporates like MTN, Standard Bank and Shoprite are African business giants; South Africa is the only African member of BRICS; and a South African heads the African Union Commission.

Yet the country is often perceived by other African states as a bully that punches above its weight.

Does South Africa have the moral standing, and economic and military capacity, to call itself a superpower?

In twenty years of reporting on Africa Liesl Louw-Vaudran has travelled with South African heads of state and met business leaders from across Africa.

In this book she tries to answer accusations that South Africa behaves like a neo-colonial power by examining key events – from Thabo Mbeki’s reforms of the African Union to the disastrous peace-keeping mission in the Central African Republic in 2013 under President Jacob Zuma.

Scroll down for quotes from the audio below.

We thought that the rest of Africa appreciated South Africans and the business they’re bringing.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

During Apartheid South Africa set up a cattle farm in Equatorial Guinea.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

Other Africans consider Mbeki as a voice of the African Renaissance.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

South Africa today doesn’t have the military capacity. We’re also not the biggest economy anymore.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

We greatly underestimate the impact of our xenophobia.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

We need to step down from our high horse.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

South Africa is largely insulated from the rest of the continent. The rest of Africa, however, is very aware of what’s going on here.

Liesl Louw-Vaudran

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Article brought to us by Old Mutual.


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