Engaging emerging powers: Africa's search for a 'common position'

Francis A. Kornegay, Chris Landsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Africa, viewed here as the world's 'swing continent', has in the past decade started to interact with emerging market economies in more intense fashion. This represents an advancing of the continent's integration into the global economy on terms more beneficial to the continent's development. However, this phenomenon also represents one of Africa's central strategic challenges; one located within what is widely considered a new 'scramble for Africa'. In emphasising South-South cooperation and linkages of interdependence between Africa, Asia and the Americas, who is managing whom? Is Africa effectively guiding these new partnering relationships? Or is the continent, in its fragmented disunity, being strategically manipulated by emerging powers, which have well thought-through national interest agendas as they build on their unique comparative advantages in facilitating access to Africa's resources? In answering these questions, emphasis is placed more on challenges than opportunities since the manner in which Africa comes to grips with the challenges will, in many respects, determine and define the opportunities. The problem of Africa arriving at a disciplined and consistent 'common position' strategy is not simply one of colonially inherited fragmentation. It is also a problem of how the strategic space of other continents interacts with that fragmentation in a manner that intrudes on Africa's geopolitical and strategic integrity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-191
Number of pages21
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Political Science and International Relations


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