1st Edition

The Eagle and the Springbok Essays on Nigeria and South Africa

By Adekeye Adebajo Copyright 2023

    Nigeria and South Africa account for about a third of Africa’s economic might, and have led much of its conflict management initiatives over the last three decades. Both account for at least 60 per cent of the economy of their respective sub-regions in West and Southern Africa. The success of political and economic integration in Africa thus rests heavily on the shoulders of these two regional powers who have both collaborated and competed with each other in a complex relationship that is Africa’s most indispensable. Nigeria remains among South Africa’s largest trading partners in Africa, while both countries have cooperated in building the institutions of the African Union (AU). Both countries have also had a tremendous cultural impact on the continent in terms of Nollywood movies and the expansion of South Africa’s corporate sector into Africa. This book assesses Nigeria/South Africa relations in the areas of politics, economics, and culture within the context of rivalries and hegemony. Biographical profiles are also provided of important figures from both countries.

    Introduction: Africa’s Indispensable Bilateral Relationship

    I. Rivalries

    1. Politics: A Shakespearean Drama

    2. Economics: Rhodes versus Lugard

    3. Culture: Nollywood versus South Africa Inc

    II. Hegemony

    4. Pax Nigeriana: The History of an Idea and Its Post-Cold War Practice

    5. Pax South Africana: A Bicycle Strategy for Engaging Africa

    6. Nigeria and South Africa: On the Concept ‘Every African Is His Brother’s Keeper’

    III. Rulers

    7. The Prophetic Peacemaker: Nelson Mandela

    8. King Baabu: Sani Abacha

    9. The Renaissance Man: Thabo Mbeki

    10. The Naked Emperor: Olusegun Obasanjo

    IV. Visionaries

    11. A Pan-African Cassandra: Adebayo Adedeji

    12. The Alchemist: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

    13. The Iron Lady: Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

    Conclusion: Pax Nigeriana, Pax South Africana, and Pax Africana





    Professor Adekeye Adebajo is a senior research fellow at the University of Pretoria’s (UP) Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (CAS). He was director of the Institute for Pan-African Thought and Conversation (IPATC) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) for □ve years, and executive director of the Centre for Con□ict Resolution (CCR) in Cape Town between 2003 and 2016. He is the author of eight books, including Africa after the Cold War; Building Peace in West Africa; and Thabo Mbeki: Africa’s Philosopher-King. He is editor and/or co-editor of ten books including Nigeria’s Foreign Policy After the Cold War; Foreign Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa; and The Pan-African Pantheon. Professor Adebajo holds a doctorate from Oxford University in England, and is a columnist for The Guardian (Nigeria) and Business Day (South Africa).