Exploring Diplomatic Crisis of Nigeria and South Africa between 1994 and 2013

Samuel Augustine Umezurike, Asuelime E Lucky


Nigeria’s relations with South Africa were of double standard during the apartheid era. The post-independence Nigeria and the apartheid regime in Pretoria relations were sour and confrontational, while it was friendly between Nigeria and the liberation movements in South Africa, especially with the African National Congress (ANC). It was more so because Nigeria adopted Africa as the centerpiece of its foreign policy, and committed itself to the total liberation of the African continent from colonialism and racism. Nigeria staged untiring opposition to colonialism on the African continent, and the racism that existed in South Africa before 1994. The beginning of a new era started in the final days of apartheid in South Africa when President de Klerk visited Nigeria in April 1992 to discuss bilateral issues, mostly trade relations. The paper examines, however, Nigeria and South Africa’s diplomatic fluidity since re-establishing formal relations in 1994 in order to understand the causes of the misunderstanding and the effect on both countries’ relations and suggest better ways to foster their relations. The study argues that Nigeria plays big brother roles in Africa from 1960 but is now unable to continue with such big brother projects. South Africa on the other hand quickly recognized economic opportunities in Africa and seek to establish neo-imperial post in the continent. However, the study suggests that the two African giants can have a smooth relations but Nigeria needs to step up its development in order to create parity with South Africa to help them form alliance of strength for Africa. It also notes that South Africa is the real giant of Africa, but Nigeria covers her internal weaknesses while engaging in diplomacy, especially with South Africa.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2015.v4n1p65

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Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies ISSN 2281 3993(Print) ISSN 2281-4612(Online)

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