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Let’s prevent issues rather than sending troops to fight African challenges – Mahama

According to former president John Mahama, Africa must confront its problems with peace and security head-on rather than relying on the deployment of troops, more equipment, and drone technology to counter the threats.

At the 10th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, Mahama gave a presentation on the State of Peace and Security in Africa 2021.

He stated that in order to prevent the flames from spreading to the entire continent, Africa and its institutions must "rather find the source of the regional insecurity fire and extinguish the flames."

He claims that instead of simply using its resources to put out extremist fires and acting like a fire brigade, only responding when it is already too late, Africa must take into account the time-tested "spirit of entrepreneurship so that we can fight the trade war."

Even though there are important institutions and mechanisms in place to prevent and resolve conflict, as Tana Forum Board Chair John Mahama pointed out, Africa appears unable to do so proactively.


Therefore, he argued that we now need to frame Africa's conflict situations as regional crises with national dimensions due to the extent of cross-border interaction and exchange as well as the growing reach of globalization.

The report claims that in 2021, Africa will see a reversal of some of the democratic gains made in the 1990s and 2000s. This will be accompanied by a rise in unconstitutional government changes, competition for state power, the regionalization of violent conflict, a return to authoritarian rule, and the undermining of the rule of law, all of which are factors in violent conflict.

Furthermore, the report stated that "in 2021, weak economic growth, a huge youth bulge, high levels of rural-urban conflict, and forced migration have created conditions for extremism to spread into vulnerable countries."

President Mahama outlined a few recommendations from the 2021 State of Peace and Security Report, including the need for member states of the Africa Union to "develop continental-based pharmaceutical industries to manufacture and distribute their own Covid-19 vaccines to African citizens" and "prevent the resurgence of unconstitutional changes of government by reacting much more swiftly to ensuing crisis."

In order to encourage young people on the continent to actively work to prevent and resolve conflict as well as promote post-conflict reconstruction, peacebuilding, and transitional justice, the report also urges the AU's Commission for Political Affairs, Peace, and Security to create special programs of work with the AU Special Envoy for Youth and the African Youth Ambassadors.

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