Nigeria’s Attitude Towards South Africa’s Perceived Xenophobia: Exploring a Shared Hegemonic Power for Africa’s Development

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


From Nigeria’s perspective, South Africa is considered as an ‘ungrateful’ state (due to the non-recognition of Nigeria’s efforts at abolishing Apartheid regime) from 1994 when electoral democracy was introduced, as if the country was not a legally, politically and internationally sovereign state. The nadir of perceived diplomatic row was experienced in 2015 due to the xenophobic/Afrophobic attacks on non-South Africans attributed to undiplomatic utterances of the king of the Zulu nation in South Africa. Before this time, incessant attacks were directed against African citizens from the Horn and Southern African states. Claims and counter-claims of foreigners being the agents of criminality and sources of unemployment for South Africans have triggered anti-immigration attitudes and acts in the country. The chapter introduces the politics of xenophobia into the hegemonic discourse. We attempt to demonstrate how Nigeria has used recurring incidences of xenophobia as a driving force to assert its power position in Africa as against a shared hegemonic power between the two African major powers.


Nigeria-South Africa Shared hegemonic power Development Xenophobia Competition 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mangosuthu University of TechnologyDurbanSouth Africa
  2. 2.North-West UniversityMahikengSouth Africa

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