Xenophobia: Healing a Festering Sore in Nigerian-South African Relations
Ademola Pius Adebisi, Ph.D.

Nigeria and South Africa are two leading countries in Africa. Located in different sub-regions on the continent, Nigeria in West Africa, South Africa in Southern Africa, they have been involved in each other’s spheres of life since the days of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. In their relations however, there has been palpable rivalry and envy which centre majorly on the leadership of the continent. While at inter-governmental level the rivalry has been fairly healthy, shortly after the liberation of South Africa in 1994, however, the South African citizens began to express xenophobic feelings against African immigrants including Nigerians almost with rhythmical regularity, a trend that has been persistently straining the official relations between the two countries. It is against this backdrop that this study examined the causes of xenophobia in South Africa and how it can be curbed with a view to improving the often strained Nigerian-South African relations. The study using secondary data, discovered that xenophobic attacks in South Africa can be largely hinged on relative deprivation, extreme nationalism and poverty among others. The study therefore, recommended among others, social re-orientation, poverty alleviation; and good governance as the panacea to the festering challenge of xenophobia.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/jirfp.v5n1a6