Following a period of some distancing through the 1980s and 1990s, Brazil has made a concerted effort to engage with Africa. Today, under the leadership of President Lula, Africa is clearly a priority, especially as Brazil emerges as a global economic power and leader of the developing South. Yet, relatively little is written of Brazil's engagement with Africa and the rationale behind the political and economic drive toward the continent. What is clear is that Brazil's engagement with Africa, viewed in the historical context, maintains its underlying foreign policy principles of economic development on the one hand and the preservation of autonomy in an asymmetric world on the other. Brazil's engagement with Africa has taken on a three-pronged approach of political diplomacy, commercial engagement and development co-operation. This is indicative of a new era of Brazilian foreign policy and Brazil's process of internationalisation in general. This is a complex and inter-related process that Brazil seems to have managed well through a high degree of diplomatic sophistication and open cooperation between the political, commercial and various development entities. Africa displays one of the best contextual examples of Brazil's delicate balancing act between commercial and strategic interests and external development assistance. The way Brazil manages this and builds on its positive image in Africa is indicative of its role and approach as a new and emerging power on the international stage.