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Politics and International Relations (PIR): Events



Humza Yousaf, Picture of Humza Yousaf

Minister for External Affairs and International Development

Humza was elected as an MSP for the Glasgow Region in May 2011. He has been involved in community work, from youth organisations to charity fundraising, for most of his life, including being media spokesperson for the international non- governmental organisation Islamic Relief.  He also volunteered for community radio for 12 years and on a project providing food packages to homeless people and asylum seekers in Glasgow. After completing his degree in Politics at the University of Glasgow in 2007, he went to work in the Scottish Parliament as an aide to the late Bashir Ahmad MSP.

On his election to Parliament in May 2011 he was appointed to the Justice Committee and Public Audit Committees.  He has been a Parliamentary Liaison Officer to the First Minister Alex Salmond MSP and was appointed Minister for External Affairs and International Development in September 2012. Humza is an alumnus of the US State Department's prestigious International Visitor Learning Programme. His interests include tackling mental health stigma, poverty, civil liberties, issues affecting young people. He is married and lives in Glasgow.


picture of Martin PLautMartin Plaut,

former BBC Africa Editor

Born in South Africa in May 1950, Martin Plaut received his first degree in Social Science from the University of Cape Town, and an Honours degree in Industrial Relations from the University of the Witwatersrand, before going on to do an MA at the University of Warwick.

In 1978 he worked for a year as an Industrial Relations officer with Mobil Oil before joining the British Labour Party as secretary on Africa and the Middle East. In 1984 he joined the BBC, working primarily on Africa. He has reported from many parts of the continent but specialises in the Horn of Africa and Southern Africa. He was Africa editor for BBC World Service News until he retired in November 2012. 

Martin Plaut has advised the Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the US State Department. For two years he was an Associate Fellow of the Royal Institute of International Affairs, leading their Africa research programme and continues to be an active member. He is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at the University of London, working on a book covering the emergency of the ANC prior to World War One.

His publications include:

  • Who rules South Africa?  Jonathan Ball, 2012 (with Paul Holden)
  • Fighting for Britain. African Soldiers in the Second World War, David Killingray, with Martin Plaut. Boydell and Brewer. 2010
  • Ethiopia and Eritrea: Allergic to persuasion. Royal Institute of International Affairs, 2007 (with Sally Healy)
  • Unfinished Business: Ethiopia and Eritrea at war, Red Sea Press, 2005, (editor, with Dominique Jacquine-Berdal)
  • War in the Horn Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1999 (with Patrick Gilkes)
  • South Africa: Out of the Laager? Fabian Society, 1991
  • Power! Black workers, their unions and the struggle for freedom in South Africa. Spokesman Press, 1984 (with Denis MacShane and David Ward)


Picture of Cluade Kabemba

Claude Kabemba, Executive Director of Southern Africa Resource Watch

In 2006, the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa (OSISA) asked Claude Kabemba to spearhead the formation of Southern Africa Resource Watch (SARW).  Before joining SARW, he worked at the Human Sciences Research Council and the Electoral institute of Southern Africa as a Chief Research Manager and Research Manager respectively. He has also worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the Centre for Policy Studies as Policy Analyst. Dr Kabemba holds a PhD in International Relations (Political economy) from the University of the Witwatersrand.

Dr. Kabemba’s main areas of research interest include: Political economy of Sub Saharan Africa with focus on Southern and Central Africa looking specifically on issues of democratization and governance, natural resources governance, election politics, citizen participation, conflicts, media, political parties, civil society and social policies. He has consulted for international organizations such Oxfam, UNHCR, The Norwegian People’s Aid, Electoral Commissions and the African Union. His publication record spans from books (as editor), book chapters, journal articles, monographs, research reports, and newspaper articles.


Chantal Daniels, Senior Policy Advisor at Christian Aid is an expert on the field of fragile state development,
security related interventions and natural resource management,
specialized in (post) conflict areas. She currently works for the British NGO
Christian Aid as senior policy advisor on accountable governance on
Central Africa. Before that she worked for the UN Peacekeeping Operation
in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO), where she worked on
the fight against sexual violence and protection of civilians. She has an
extensive experience in policy advice and advocacy, focusing on, and
working in East-Africa (a.o Congo, Burundi, Sudan).

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Young men panning for gold in Niger