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Do Africa and South America make the best partners?

Chikodili Emelumadu | 14:25 UK time, Wednesday, 16 June 2010

Ivory Coast versus Brazil must be one of the first round fixtures at the World Cup that lovers of the beautiful game are looking forward to the most.  There is no doubt that Africa and South America have mutual respect for one another on the football field. But what about in other areas?


worldmap.jpgThese are two continents with much in common. Apart from the obvious cultural ties, both are rapidly-expanding, developing regions, and in recent years they have striven to promote a stronger economic bond.  The start of the Africa-South-American summits in 2006 is one way in which these common interests are being nurtured.

So how else can South America and Africa cooperate? What can these two continents learn from one another in order to thrive in future?  Are they more naturally suited as partners than they are with the west? 
If you would like to debate this topic LIVE on air on Thursday 17 June at 1600 GMT, please include a telephone number. It will not be published.


  • Comment number 1.

    I think the global map says it all. The two continents could not have been closer - and their developments have been similarly hampered by the "developed nations" through conquering, interference and greed. I would say they have a great deal in common, and seem to have some excellent traditional values (family, co-operation) that they can share. Perhaps they can lead the way forward out of the economic collapse, by learning from the west - that values should not be compromised to make money.

  • Comment number 2.

    You could argue culturally and traditionally (respect for elders/parents) we might understand each other better (African's and South Americans).

    But the West has the Money (funds are concentrated in North America, British Isles and Europe). Another issue to consider to consider is the problem Great Britain and France came to Africa for resources and Spain went to South America for the same.

    It's hard culturally and our traditions are different, but we (all the people East, West, North and South) must just put aside these things and strive to work together to develop areas that aren't developed, remember Eastern Europe before 2005, look what has happened after they joined the EU the amount of development that has been reached, and look how they were languishing in poverty from the Second World War end 1945 to 2005!

    So don't despair, strong ties need to be made with the rich and poor alike for developing countries to make it.

  • Comment number 3.

    Africa doesn't need any partners; it needs basic infrastructure and effective/independent state institutions without which development isn't possible.

    And in any event, why do we (and the BBC) always assume that the solutions to our problems lie outside the continent? At one time, soon after decolonization, they were to be found in London or Paris. Then came the Cold War, and they were either in the USSR, the USA or in the Non-Aligned Movement. Then, in the era of G8/G20 summitry they were available only at each of these summits. At the same time, China has become our "saviour." And now...well...they're definitely in Latin America.

    How can we ever progress with this deluded mindset?

  • Comment number 4.

    African countries should seek other markets for their goods and not so much rely on the Europeans.Also they must work together to achieve much more favorable trade agreements with others nations and finally get serious about cracking down on corruption.South American countries are much more democratic and politically/economically stable than most african countries.Africa always seems to be behind other countries in terms of development and constantly playing "catch up"

  • Comment number 5.

    Without a doubt Africa and South America are meant to work together, if they are to gain the respect of the rest of the world (particularly from the West). These are two continents with so much cultural-linkage and it's something that they must utilise for the betterment of their societies. Areas in which these continents could possibly work together to achieve economic developments include Energy trading, reduction in governments' imposed protections which limits access to resources that are vital to both sides and they must aim to work in cooperation instead of oneside trying to gain an advantage, as we have seen between EU countries and their relations with African traders (where heavily protected European farmers have tremendous advantage over African farmers).

  • Comment number 6.

    we are close to each other separated by only a small portion of water.
    we have almost the same continental shape.
    The big powers look down on us in so many areas- social economic and political

  • Comment number 7.

    The Encarta Dictionaries, defines the word 'partner' as "somebody who shares activities." For Africa the most needed partner is the one that shares its development activities. Not that shares its own resources. Therefore, the ideal partner for Africa is the one who is happy to share the development efforts of the Africa genuinely and fairly with out snatching its resources unlawfully and unfairly, like through unfair trade and other means. The genuineness of one's partnership therefore, should be measured by this parameter.Based on this parameter, for instance, the partnership Africa has with the West is the second type, i.e. that is not based on fairness and genuineness principles.It is in favor of the westerners. The partnership of Africa with other parts of the world should therefore be judged mainly against these principles. And the 21st century Africa should base on this parameter when she wants to create partnership with any part of the world.

  • Comment number 8.

    Partnership with our South American friends sounds attractive, but I am not sure whether there will be real economic benefits, at least not in the short to medium term. We still have very poor infrastructure and, in general, we are still politically and economically unstable. We do need to put our house in order in these areas. I suppose we can work with South America on this. Brazil will be an ideal partner to work with on development issues that will provide positive and sustainable socio-economic benefits.

  • Comment number 9.

    Forget about the jig-saw fit which geographers once postulated claiming that Africa and Latin America was once a single landmass. This is because you cannot pump out the Atlantic waters and push the Americas back to 'where they belonged' so that they join up with Africa. However, there seem to be weak bilateral relationship between Africa and South America and more so with the emerging powers like Brazil and Argentina. I have never heard of serious trade between Africa and Latin America except when drugs on transit from countries like Columbia or Peru are captured along African Coastline or Airports.

    Even though these countries have not actualised on their development, many of them have stronger economies and human development indices than African countries. This therefore points to availability of export markets for Africa. Nevertheless, i would advise the same South American countries not to wear the Western goggles and view Africa as a destination for foreign aid but view the continent with the Chinese goggles, where Africa is an important trade partner.

  • Comment number 10.

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]
    I have never seen people that are in despair yet Africa at this point and time should have sufficient educated people to deal with its own development. But why is the continent consistently begging help from Europe, America and Asia while its resources are at hand.
    1) Mental blindness.
    2) Disrespect for self.
    3) Genetics
    While I recognize that this assessment will draw fire works, but it is worth recognizing what is wrong with us.
    The mental Blindness is to know so much yet fail to see our capacity within ourselves and be seen as worthy by our leaders. Had it not been for such blindness our leaders would not be hauling the continents wealth and run to the west.

    The disrespect part has everything to do about the Africans thinking that every project must have a white person involved in it. While the continent has thousands professionals who could undertake projects without any help from whites, Indians or Chinese for that matter, yet most African countries governmental institution "prefer" non-African as lead engineers and technical staff. If that is not disrespect for self I do not know what is.

    The genetics part is that we must not be up to the task man is capable of. Period! If Africa were to go forward, it must do so without outside help. The only thing Africa needs the outside world for is to sell its "Finished Goods", not raw material. Rather than squabbling over minuscule ethnic, tribal and religious matters we should rise to the occasion and solve our problem and go forward.

    The BBC will not print this because it is not politically correct. But this is an in-house affair “African Affair” and has nothing to do with BBC. It has come to a point where African leaders need to be told that their persistent to power has nothing to do with greed alone. It is a genetically defective being which has led them to act like animals and treat their citizens like animals which in-turn has led the rest world see African as animals.

    At the end I do not need South America to build Africa. I just need my leaders to grow out of narrow mind and see what is in all of Africans.

  • Comment number 11.

    Take a trip to Jamaica, Haiti or one of these Islands in the Caribbean and see things for your self. The vegetation, climate, people and cultures make you feel that you are in Africa. Economically, socially and politically, these people have not either differentiated themselves from Africa. They look and behave like our relatives on the other side of the globe. Beleive me, they are not only our partners, they are also our relatives.

  • Comment number 12.

    The only ideal partner of AFrica is the one who is willing to respect, uphold the values of African cultures and customs not someone who wants to impose his/her values on us because of his/her economic and political powers.

  • Comment number 13.

    [Personal details removed by Moderator]

    Africa should take advantage of the global recession and attract her professionals back to the continent. Looking up to the European or chinese for hope should not be part of the equation. If you really want to know what the collective thinking of the Chinese is towards Africa just go on to their websites.

  • Comment number 14.

    South America I believe bring a partnership that does not require Africans to give up or water down their own cultures or morals. A mutual respect of a friend to a friend rather than a teacher to student is what I think thrives in that relationship. Africans do not automatically lower themselves to South Americans and the latter never expect the former to.

    As such moral politics, moral economics, moral capitalism will emerge.

  • Comment number 15.

    before now i had thought the BBC always potrays africa in bad light, until I watched the following documentaries presented by BBC, on youtube. I would urge all african members who have not watched these documentaries to pleae and afterwards formed their opinions about the BBC contribution on african imformation dissemination. You will who are the real african partners and her enemies. Bravo BBC .
    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

  • Comment number 16.

    I would rather go with a different view that Africa needs to partner more with itself. We need to trade more amongst each other and to do that we need the proper infrastructures that would facilitate such endeavours by our hard-working men and women. This will allow us compete more favourably and have more meaningful partnerships.

  • Comment number 17.

    As africa and South America have close ties historically, they can and will make great partners in the future.

  • Comment number 18.

    hello ! i think africa should hold its relationship with latin america very close to its heart because its the only true and sincere relationship it will ever get from anybody !

  • Comment number 19.

    if we narrow Africa's partnership to only the South America's axis because of historical and cultural similarities, then globalization as a political reality should be thrown out the window. What Africa needs is not just partners but balance in international trade and investments in technology.

  • Comment number 20.

    There is no ideal partner, they are all here for they are all here for their own good. Africa can find any of their trading partners ideal as long as they do deals that are benefical to them.


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