By: Javas Bigambo, Interthoughts Consulting
The narrative of Africaâ€™s development is a trajectory replete with conflicts, wanton murder, struggle, determination, heroism, and flickers of democracy. No, writing about Africa is not entirely a sad story, but the polemical African narrative can never be complete without disruptive and annoying punctuations of conflict of all kinds. Tragically, recent history documents that Africa has played host to the worldâ€™s bloodiest conflicts since the Second World War.
The memories of Rwandan genocide, Somaliaâ€™s war of decades fought through generations, Sudanâ€™s war story of antagonism, Ugandaâ€™s brutal hand of Joseph Kony, or, DRCâ€™s conflicts that threaten to be the longest in global history, or as far North as Libya and Egypt, point to the tattered fabric of Africaâ€™s social and political fabric. Agreeably, Africa is perpetually in turmoil.
Of all tragic causal roots, the sad fact is that conflicts in Africa have no ideological roots, or logical end-game plans or substantive goals. They are embers of egotistic manoeuvres of accomplished self-seekers who have an irredeemable longing for immortality through capitalistic un-celestial yearnings.
For, what would make conscientious humans to turn countries into hecatombs through untold bloodletting, rape and attendant decapitative exercises? It is because of such thoughtless pursuits by rogue regimes, feral military generals and power grabbers that institutions such as the AU exist in Africa. The failure of the AU to make sense of democratic governance in Africa can be no more romanticized. Looking back in retrospect, it is easy to ask:
1. Where was the AU and what did it do when Rwanda filled its rivers with human blood?
2. Where was the AU and what did it do when Libya sunk?
3. What has the AU done significantly to bring sanity to Somalia of the initial Sudan?
No, I am not saying that the AU has regrettably failed, but I wouldnâ€™t know what else to say if I were to be honest. Africaâ€™s conflict imbroglio is a quagmire of leadership and principles, where seemingly the former is a fact of old history while the latter is an apparition.
If not, is the nefarious culture of autocratic regimes in Africa a summer time for the AU? In the definitive analysis of it, the African Union should find the necessity to demystify itself, set itself on a new path through the bushes of present indifference to the African situation. This is because the AU seems to have its leaders in a union of mystery. Every third African on the street of any African state has scarcely any idea of what the AU actually does, it mission or vision, or even its present engagements.
This potentially points to a sad reality that if a referendum were to be conducted across Africa on the relevance of that assembly of African nations, more than half of the African dwellers would not vote in favour of the AU.
It is vital that the AU reworks its policies and changes its strategies without much delay. This can and should be done through strategic leadership at the helm, and further, the AU must refuse to be blind to atrocities and ills committed by African presidents. Regrettably, the AU has barely ever found any fault with an African leader, or even come up with remedies to Africaâ€™s governance and economic challenges.
The AU should also give new blood of thought to IGAD, root for the expeditious maturity of the EAC, strengthen ECOWAS and give continental review to COMESA. There is also need to establish and foster intra-continental forums and platforms for peace-building and conflict mitigation. AU should also be humble enough to consider best practices from the EU.
Javas can be reached through: firstname.lastname@example.org