How can peace be achieved in Africa?
Unfortunately, peace seems to be elusive in this second-biggest continent in the world. There are 53 countries which belong to the African Union and the United Nations (UN). Morocco is a member of the UN But it is not part of the Union. As a sample, these are the top five African countries with corresponding Gross Domestic Product (GDP in US$ Billions): Nigeria - 568.508 South Arica – 352.817 Egypt – 291.538 Algeria – 214.063 Angola – 131.401
Africa is known as one of the most corrupt regions. Corruption is one of the reasons for the continuing poverty and inhibited progress in this continent.
The dishonesty extends from top-level graft in governments to ordinary bribery among public employees. In fact, political analysts believe public officials in Sub-Saharan Africa always seek re-election as a form of protection against prosecution.
Individual Efforts In Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari vows no letup against corruption. These should be his priorities:
• Make an accounting for missing revenues from crude oil which amounts to roughly US$20 billion.
• Serious implementation of Access to Information legislation.
• Prosecution of all officials behind corrupt practices.
• Passage of anti-corruption laws.
• Stop corruption in the armed forces.
The South African Government also carried out anti-corruption programs that include legislation and legal agenda to combat corruption; Public Service Anti-Corruption Strategy of the government; creation of agencies such as the Special Investigation Unit, National Prosecuting Authority, South African Revenue Service, Ombudsman, and Independent Police Investigative Directorate; Public Procurement; Electronic Governance; and, Whistle blowing. However, there are drawbacks such as inadequate enforcement.
Since 2011, the new Egyptian government has been at the forefront of waging war versus dishonesty in the public echelons. The major effort focuses on public awareness and reforms. There should also be suspension of new hiring for government employees; changing grounds for promotion from superiority to performance; removal of incompetent personnel; promotion of government to government collaboration; and additional dependence on web-based services to lessen interaction between officials and ordinary citizens.
Algeria has been stunted by corruption. Henceforth, government should work hard to speed up implementation of reorganization and reforms; evaluation of the judicial and administrative processes and systems; proper enforcement of trade/commercial contracts and procedures; and, less political intervention.
There is also a need for the activation of controls to ensure transparency in public accounts as well as proper financial management of public resources and funds.
Angola is concentrating on enactment of laws, government strategies such as public financial management and monetary transparency; correct reporting; and, proper information sharing. The Angolan government also created a program that tracks down government expenses and allocation.
LRA and Boko Haram
Aside from territorial conflicts, peace in the African continent has been hampered greatly by the emergence of the Lord’s Resistance Army Insurgency or LRA which is a revolutionary campaign being waged by this rebel group for more than two decades. This is one of the longest-running armed conflicts that have brought about serious humanitarian problems. The LRA is guilty of prevalent human rights violations which consist of torture, rape, mutilation, slavery and kidnapping of innocent civilians. Hundreds of thousands have been killed and millions of civilians were displaced.
On the other hand, Boko Haram (an extremist Islamic guerilla faction based in Nigeria) conducted armed attacks on civilians, government soldiers and United Nations personnel. Countries threatened by destabilization include Cameroon and Niger. The group pledge allegiance to the ISIS Islamic State. Even foreign nationals have been victims of violence such as Belgian national Emmanuel de Merode, park warden of Virunga National Park in Republic of Congo’s eastern province. The Belgian was ambushed by gunmen last April allegedly for supporting the law and criticizing oil exploration activities inside the park.
Relief from Ivory Trade
Another issue worth considering is the Ivory Trade which is the illegal commercial trade of ivory tusks of elephants in Africa and Asia. This trade, which has been going on for centuries, caused the endangerment of these wild animal species. The community of nations regards the Ivory Trade as perilous as trafficking of weapons, dangerous drugs and human beings. In fact, governments have confiscated tons of ivory since the ban was implemented in 1989.
Many nations destroyed these stocks of ivory by burning or crushing the tusks. These countries include the United States, United Kingdom, France, Belgium, China, and Hong Kong. Unfortunately, a lot of ivory buyers are not aware of the ruthlessness and effects on conservation of elephant poaching. At present, these countries have been joined by France, Germany, South Africa, and the Netherlands in conducting anti-ivory trading communications campaigns worldwide.
It is really difficult to achieve absolute peace in the African region because of destitution, armed quarrels, corruption, lack of cooperation, and ignorance of international laws. There is a need for more collaboration among African nations if peace is to reign in Africa.