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Articles

Vol. 1 No.2: December, 2013

Nigeria’s ‘Megaphone Diplomacy’ and South Africa’s ‘Quiet Diplomacy’: A Tale of Two Eras

  • Chidozie Felix C.
  • Agbude Godwin A.
  • Oni Samuel
Submitted
February 29, 2016
Published
2016-02-29

Abstract

Nigeria, under Murtala/Obasanjo regime was widely acknowledged to have adopted
an overtly active foreign policy toward the rest of Africa, and particularly, South Africa‟s
apartheid regime, which was in tandem with her Afro-centric posturing at the time. This
multilateral cum bilateral diplomatic relations earned Nigeria the status of a „frontline state‟ and
wider recognition at other multilateral levels, but much animosity from the West. South Africa,
under Mbeki regime was acknowledged to have adopted an overtly active foreign policy relation
toward the rest of Africa, but covert diplomatic relations with Zimbabwe, which was in tandem
with her African-renaissance posturing at the time. This multilateral cum bilateral diplomatic
relations earned South Africa the status of a „backline state‟ and further diminution at the global
stage. Nigeria and South Africa are arguably perceived as regional hegemons in Africa, whose
national interest vacillate between cooperation and conflict. The fate of contemporary Africa,
however, rest on the convergence of these ambivalence of interests. The work adopts the realist
framework of analysis to interrogate the permutations of Nigeria and South Africa diplomatic
trajectories at the periods under investigation. Furthermore, comparative analysis is applied to
the discourse with a view to placing the analysis within theoretical context. The understanding of
the diplomatic calculations that governed these two eras and their implications for contemporary
Nigeria/South Africa relations vis-a-vis African politics is instrumental. Ultimately, the fact that
these diplomatic permutations played out within the context of the international economic
capitalism makes the analysis more interesting.