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Africa's bid for permanent seat in the united Nations Security Council (UNSC): prospects and challenges for Nigeria and South Africa.

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This study explored the three aspects: political, economic and crime and corruption factors on South Africa and Nigeria as they compete for the permanent seat on the United National Security council (UNSC). The recent announcement that Nigeria is now a superpower in Africa in terms of economic growth, is one of the factors that prompted the study. On the other hand, South Africa had been enjoying the status of being a superpower economically in Africa for decades. On top of that the recent reports say that Nigeria will continue to increase its economic budget from Nairas 4, 4 trillion this year to 8 trillion in 2016 (Reuters, 2015: 17). This shows that South Africa needs to work harder to reclaim its status. But the arguments amongst the economists that Nigeria will not enjoy the status for a long time is one issue that is discussed in the study. They economic analysts believe that Nigeria is far behind from South Africa in terms of infrastructure. The living conditions of Nigerian people have not changed. What does this mean in terms of the prospects for either of the two countries claiming a place on the UNSC? This is the core question addressed in this study. The study followed a qualitative research paradigm which leaned more towards desktop research. Data were collected using existing sources – both historical and current – as well as document analysis. Statements and comments by experts on the issues addressed in the study were also solicited and analysed in order to get a better sense of the current situation and postulate on the likely prospects for each of the two countries. The findings show that both countries have advantages and disadvantages that will either bolster or retard each country’s prospects should the permanent seat in the UNSC become available. These are both endogenous and exogenous. The conclusion is that both Nigeria and South Africa have prospects and challenges. Therefore, the recommendation is that neither of these countries should take it as a given that it will automatically get the UNSC seat should it become available.


Master of Social Sciences in International Relations. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban 2015.