Africa’s Largest Economies Nigeria And South Africa Try To Mend Fences

President Jacob Zuma will travel to Nigeria next week with a large delegation of ministers and business leaders in a concerted attempt to repair the strained relations between Africa’s two largest powers. Those relations went sour under the previous Nigerian presidency of Goodluck Jonathan, reaching a low point in April last year when Nigeria recalled its acting high commissioner. Whether true or not, Pretoria took this as a protest against the eruption of xenophobic attacks, mostly directed against other Africans, including a few Nigerians.

Yet relations have not really been reset, nearly a year later. There are still many niggles, including the ‘harsh’ fine of US$5.2 billion (later reduced to US$3.9 billion) that Nigeria imposed on South African cellphone operator MTN for failing to disconnect unregistered SIM cards. Read more on reconciliation efforts between Nigeria and South Africa.