Sustainable development in Africa needs Peace and Security
Idea born at the Africa-France Summit in December 2013 at the Elysee Palace, the 4th International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa was held like every year in Dakar on November 13 and 14 with nearly 800 people including many African heads of state and government, international partners as well as many peace and security actors (military, experts, diplomats). The fourth edition was devoted to the new strategic challenges of the continent, with the theme “Current security challenges in Africa : for integrated solutions”.
The first three editions have led to many fruitful exchanges that have contributed to a better understanding of the new security and strategic issues which the continent is facing. They made it possible to bring out new approaches in defense, security and development policies and strengthened African partnerships with international bodies. Visibly the debates around the stakes are global, but it seems difficult to define effective answers without the principal concerned. So what about peace and security in Africa ?
Conflicts and insecurity continue to grow : in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Chad, Nigeria, Libya, Cameroon, Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) , in South Sudan, Somalia, Yemen, Kenya, Djibouti, Uganda, Tanzania … what a sad and non-exhaustive list that tirelessly sweeps over a growing jihadist soil with refugee populations fleeing wars. All this for what ? For fossil resources looted by foreign firms ? For supposedly religious questions ? It is so a pity, how to stop it ?
How can we still meet and speak about peace and security without belligerent parties by getting no effective solution to stop the conflicts in Africa that are multiplying while crimes against humanity are committed ; while children are enrolled as soldiers ; while rape is used as war crime ; while people are sold as merchandise ; while villagers are massacred, enrolled and kidnapped ; while people die in wars for religion or unrenewable fossil resources … we are really in the 21st century, are we ?
It’s a shame to waste time and money only in speaking about peace and security ! When should they stop talking and try acting and give one direction to save African people who suffer so much although the continent is so rich ? When African countries will be able to ensure their own peace and security and build a common defense force like Otan ? It supposes unity. Besides, the African Union (AU) fails to create a common space of peace and security in Africa. Africans do not even know how to unite despite the social solidarity that is more expressed daily. It is then easy to oppose them and lead to the wars ravaging the continent.
Peace and security is a basic right in life. In this continent plagued by political instability and inter-communal violence, peace is just indispensable to initiate a development. Most countries in America, in Europe, in Asia and Oceania have ever realised that war on their own land stop development and can’t get it sustainable. For expected, while some are relying on peace and security in Dakar, at Bonn, from 6 to 17 November, others are thinking about more active fight against climate change for sustainable development of the planet …another level of differential development…
What about the sustainable development of Africa ? So many people in Africa faces starvation, floods, epidemic diseases, poor nutrition, drought, contaminated air and water and unmanageable mountains of waste. African countries have common environmental problems which are consequences related to overproduction of western nations. Climate is changing in Africa which is the most affected (desertification, soil erosion, deforestation …). In addition to these disasters, resurgence of infectious diseases, lack of investment in education and health, corruption, fact that million of people are still living under abject poverty and so more explains that it is so hard to promote sustainable development despite the need of renewable energy to electrify remote lands. Environmental problems in Africa are caused by a mixture of factors from behaviour of Africans to new colonialism of foreign countries.
However Africa is rich in natural resources and has high population growth rate, its development strategies are not so far encouraging decent living condition and maintaining a good level of environmental quality. Africa needs as human development as sustainable development.
Despite a lot of money is given by the international community for sustainable development of Africa, it never seems enough like a bottomless well because their initiatives can only help African countries to solve their own problems, their needs and their resources.
Despite the sparse initiatives of some countries described in the African Forum for Sustainable Development (FADD) of May 2017, so much remains to be done in the implementation of the 2030 and 2063 programs…
Poor Africa : no solution ? Perhaps one day it will not be a dream anymore for all African people to experiment peace and security and to stop living in the urgency of today but start to have a vision for future generations and perhaps Africa will be put on the road of sustainable development !
Keywords : Africa – Sustainable development – Forum – Peace and security
- Sources image : http://www.dakarforum.org/programme/