From Economic Diplomacy to Pan-African Identity: Exploring Nigeria-South Africa Cooperation for Continental Integration and Development in Africa

  • Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba
Part of the Advances in African Economic, Social and Political Development book series (AAESPD)


Nigeria and South Africa have a long history of relations, dating back to 1970s, when the former took a principled stand against the apartheid regime in the latter. In 1994, the white minority rule was dismantled, giving way for a black majority-controlled government in South Africa. One of the first foreign policy actions of the ANC led government was to establish relations with African countries. Given the relatively developed economic capacity of South Africa, its companies have made in roads to African countries to exploit the huge market opportunities. Being the largest market on the continent, with a rising middle class, Nigeria has had a fair share of the presence of South African companies in the country. Today, there are at least one hundred and thirty- four South African companies operating in Nigeria. To a significant extent, the huge number of companies has been facilitated by leveraging on political connections of key actors in government in the two countries. While there are concerns that Nigeria’s gesture has not been reciprocated by South Africa, the focus of this chapter is on the unnecessary rivalries, contestations and sub-optimal relationship that exist between Nigeria and South Africa at the continental and global levels. Far too often, the foreign policy positions of the two countries have stood at variance when issues of regional and global concerns are involved. Based on hegemonic stability and Pan-Africanism theoretical frameworks, this chapter argues that the two countries need to move from consideration for narrow domestic interests to prioritising Pan-African identity and renaissance to foster integration and development in Africa.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel Ojo Oloruntoba
    • 1
  1. 1.University of South AfricaPretoriaSouth Africa

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