Kagame assumes AU Chairmanship to shoulder unfinished business
Written by: George Kalisa
Tuesday, February 6th, 2018, 2:22
The past two decades or so have left behind cyclical socio-economic and political problems and challenges that are apparently spilling over like a bush fire and experts warn that they are culpable of stunting and/or reversing Africa’s steadfast progress alongside plundering its economy to regrettable magnitude if a cure is not reached soon
Rwandan leader Paul Kagame was elected the Chairman of the African Union (AU) in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa effective January 2018. His assumption to such a high profile office comes at the background of baffling phenomena – both man-made and natural inflicting pain and denying the African people to live on the continent as humans deserving uncontested dignity. He takes over from Guinea’s President Alpha Condé who hands over both office and outstanding unfinished businesses.
Much as Africa’s shortcomings mostly home-made are blown out of proportion by the Western media, armed to the teeth with a lethal weapon of mass propaganda, the reality is that something has gone wrong in a handful of African countries leading to a situation that calls for concerted efforts and political will by all stakeholders to reverse the situation.
The past two decades or so have left behind cyclical socio-economic and political problems and challenges that are apparently spilling over like a bush fire and experts warn that they are culpable of stunting and/or reversing Africa’s steadfast progress and plundering its economy to regrettable magnitude if a cure is not reached soon.
Africa hosts civil strife, terrorism, hunger, poverty, epidemics, mass youth unemployment, and recurrent political instabilities that have paved way to more problems of a complex nature such as upsurge of refugees, influx of migrants within the continent and beyond, human trafficking, and of recent, slave trade.
All such problems pose a threat and continue to threaten the dignity of the African people and undeniably negatively impact on the wellbeing of Africans in the short and long term.
The search for a lasting panacea to these problems and a pack of others calls for sustainable and holistic approaches as well as profound strategies and strong leadership as opposed to piecemeal approaches and weak leadership that have failed the continent for many decades.
Thus, African leaders need to rethink the root cause rather than investing huge resources in addressing the effects in order to forge a way forward for a bright and predictable future for Africa’s posterity. This implies having visionary leadership alongside demonstrated political will from all leaders and stakeholders on the rich resource continent beyond the moving and eloquent speeches and power point presentations.
Hence, President Kagame’s wealth of experience in tackling home-made problems using home-made solutions as contrasted to abstract theories on leadership learned from books authored by African enemies in the West that have had little or nothing to offer makes Kagame’s election long overdue. He is a former freedom fighter whose passion for uplifting the wellbeing of African people has been tested beyond reasonable doubt. He stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed more than one million lives and he inherited a stateless east African nation with a population that had been polarized along ethnicity lines beyond repair. And, with his political nous and wit has presided over its economic transformation to be ranked one of the first two fast growing economies on the continent.
With rare resilience, Kagame has presided over reconciliation by employing home-grown solutions to create a new Rwanda attracting both admiration and envy. Moreover, he presided over the return of the rule of law causing inevitable mortification to enemies of Africa who thought it was impossible to create a united Rwanda for which he has won credit and confidence from many African leaders and his people.
To this effect, President Kagame boasts of moral authority and proven experience to broker and arbitrate successfully between political rivals or groups at the centre of the growing conflicts in countries like South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Burundi, to mention but a few, employing constitutional, democratic and peaceful means.
Being a former refugee, it is incumbent upon commonsense knowledge that as a person who was denied his fundamental rights to life of his choice, development, culture, non-discrimination and right to live in his ancestral land to eventually be subdued to a refugee status needs no lectures from people who memorize such concepts without a practical experience and who claim to be the authors of democracy and human rights.
He, therefore, understands and appreciates from his heart and soul the suffering caused by ego-centred, power hungry, power obsessed and self-seeking individuals. Having ended ethnicity and divisive politics in his own country African leaders and Africans at large see him as an authority capable of providing workable solutions to countries engulfed by civil strife precipitated by ethnicity.
Needless to mention that the South Sudanese people and the suffering lot on the continent who have helplessly suffered crimes against humanity look at his Chairmanship as God’s timely intervention and will to end their cries and pain through the guidance of the AU leaders.
As security guru no one doubts that President Kagame’s contribution to the cure to the marauding militias, unrest and lingering violence accelerated by ethnic and political conflict that have led to internal displacement of an estimated 3,9 million and about 100,000 have fled to neighbouring countries where they live as refugees while tens of thousands have died since civil strife broke out in especially the mineral rich regions of DRC.
As a peace maker he has ensured the presence of Rwandan troops in the conflict ravaged African countries like The Central African Republic and South Sudan, a demonstration of heart to have a stable Africa.
Hence, social and political pundits in Africa are agreed that the choice of President Kagame was right as this year’s Chairman vis-à-vis the unfolding events on the continent and salute the 29th ordinary session of the Assembly of the AU for their vision and love for a stable and prosperous Africa expecting undivided support for Kagame’s one year tenure.
Youth population is projected to reach 830 million by 2050 up from 420 million youths aged between 15 and 35 in the continent one third of them are currently unemployed, indicates statistics at the Africa Development Bank. According to the Jobs for Youths in Africa Strategy 2016-2025, Africa targets 25 million new jobs an issue expected to be high on President Kagame’s priorities.
The 27th AU Summit in Kigali held July 10-18 2016 entrusted President Kagame with a task of designing reforms proposals that will particularly see the continent become more self-reliant on the journey to create an aids-free Africa. He presented the reforms proposals to African leaders on July29, 2017 and implementation is ongoing.
Most notably, solutions to the challenges alluded to are embedded in the Agenda 2063, putting the final nail to the coffin of conflicts by 2020 included. Hence, the President in collaboration with other African leaders and stakeholders are expected to direct colossal efforts to fast-tract this agenda.
Hence, President Kagame is conversant with African problems, which makes Africans place their bar of expectations in his tenure high.