Osinbajo Advocates Harmonised Efforts In Tackling Africa’s Security Challenges

prof.yemi osinbajoNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says  the harmonisation of efforts between regional communities and the African Union Peace and Security Council will help Africa tackle its security challenges.

Professor Osinbajo made the statement on Monday while addressing representatives of regional economic communities at the African Union Security Council meeting held in Abuja.

He said that re-establishing peace, security and stability in the African continent was achievable if regional attention would focus on early warning and the use of effective conflict resolution mechanism.

According to him, Africa should first harmonise efforts between regional communities and the African Union Peace and Security Council before seeking help from the outside world.

Professor Osinbajo said Africa was in a season of conflicts, with recurring crisis and relapses that needed to be checked through stronger and closer regional collaboration.

The Vice President of Nigeria stressed that key areas required collective attention and decisive action for peace to gradually return to the continent.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Omelogo Nnadi, said the meeting considering how to establish peace and stability in the African continent was aimed at mapping out ways to enhance effective cooperation between the African Union Peace and Security Council and regional economic communities in the promotion of peace, security and stability in Africa.

The meeting came at a time of recurring conflicts across Africa.

At the meeting decision makers in security looked at practical measures that would ensure that African leaders pulled resources and efforts together to solve their common problem.

While Africa has been referred to by many as a continent of crises, key players at the meeting – the Chairman of the AU Peace and Security Council meeting, Professor Ibrahim Gambari and the Permanent representative of Nigeria to the AU, Ambassador Usman Baraya – disagreed, stressing that Africa must now address its problems on a regional level first before soliciting or accepting help from outside the continent.

In West Africa, Nigeria and other neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad Basin have polled security forces together to tackle the Boko Haram terrorists group  that had launched attacks on communities in Cameroon, Chad Niger and Nigeria.

Besides this collaboration with the African Union emphasised at the meeting, there are also efforts at the sub regional level supervised by ECOWAS commission to ensure security of lives and property in the region.

There is also an African standby force set aside for humanitarian intervention but these cannot yield the expected result without strong coordination and cooperation among all nations in Africa who share common problems and challenges.

UN Advises African Countries To Lead Security Sector Reforms

Joy Ogwu at the UN
Professor Joy Ogwu, who presided over the UN Security Council meeting, read the resolutions

The United Nations Security Council has advised African nations facing security challenges to take the lead in the security sector reform while the UN provides needed support.  

This is part of the resolutions reached at the end of the meeting that had seen Nigeria’s presidency at the UN Security Council, bringing to the front burner issues related to maintaining peace and order in countries coming out of conflict.

Nigeria had led the council to adopt resolution 2151 in 2014 which allows the United Nations to support security sector reforms in these countries, including an overhaul of the police, army, justice and intelligence sectors in order to restore order in the system and build lasting peace.

“Strong Political Will”

United-Nations-Security-Council UN
United Nations Security Council presided over by Nigeria’s Representatives, Professor Joy Ogwu

At the just concluded session of the Security Council, Nigeria’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Professor Joy Ogwu, among other speakers, however, called on states to take initiative and lead the reform process with a strong political will.

Reading out some of the resolutions at the meeting, Professor Ogwu said: “States must bear primary responsibility for the maintenance of peace and security within their borders.

“States must continue to take the lead in determining their security sector priorities”.

She further stressed that the demands from the African countries were the “essence and primacy of the idea of National ownership”.

Days ago, African envoys had expressed hopes that they would leverage on the Presidency of Nigeria and bring to the fore, issues of insecurity and other challenges that countries in the continent were facing for deliberation and possible solution.

Nigeria was also able to secure the Councils call for more support to IDPs in the oil-rich nation’s north-east, where the activities of the Boko Haram sect had displaced close to 1.5 million persons.

US-Africa Leaders’ Summit, Why US?

us_africa_leaders_summit_at_statePeople in Africa are becoming more aware of their importance to the rest of the world, as more and more investors are trooping to Africa as the destination of investment, with Nigeria topping the list of countries of interest.

To boost development in the African continent, the US held a summit with African leaders in the first week of August and several business and development partnerships were established.

Why the US? Is a question many have continue to ponder over.

Since China started partnering with African countries, the US’s investment relationship with the African continent has dropped and at the summit, it was obvious that there was need for more partnership between America and the continent.

At the first ever US-Africa Leaders Summit, hosted by President Barack Obama, over 40 African leaders sat to discuss the new partnership proposed by the US.

With the theme, “Investing in Africa’s Future” ringing through the US-Africa Business Forum, the US Government explained why the partnership would be a win-win situation for both sides.

“We don’t look to Africa simply because of its natural resources. We recognise Africa for its greatest resource which is its people and its talent and their potential.

“We don’t simply want to extract minerals from their ground for our growth, we want to build genuine partnership to create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples and then unleash the next era of African growth. That is the kind of partnership America offers,” President Obama said while addressing the leaders.

US Secretary of State, John Kerry, also stressed that Africa had the fastest growing economies in the world, and that with an anxiety to grab the future, America and Africa should do more together.

“We have to partner to invest in the next generation. To create good jobs for the young Africans, to build a stronger middle class, to provide families with clean power and clean water, to build societies where an open exchange of ideas and information are the defining hallmark,” Mr Kerry said..

Africa’s two main challenges have remained power and infrastructure development and millions have been spent to push the power sector and build infrastructures, but not much achievement has been made.

African leaders in the summit, however, maintained that they do not want the continent to be taken for granted.

“To put our view to the United State, we would want an extension of a goal so that we could have a better kind of relationship between us. We now have an experience that we can discuss better as to what we have to do to better, consolidate and enhance our relations,” South African President, Jacob Zuma, said, referring to the summit as an opportunity that came at the opportune time.

During a press briefing at the end of the summit, US President announced that the US and Africa would be partnering in health and security, two other areas posing huge challenges to Africa.

“The United States will provide additional equipment to African peacekeepers in Somalia and the Central African Republic. We will support the African Union’s efforts to strengthen its peacekeeping institutions and most importantly, we are launching a new African peacekeeping rapid response partnership, with the goal of quickly deploying African peacekeepers in support of UN or AU missions.

“We are looking forward to seeing all the great things you will do when you go back home,” Obama said, stressing the need for agreements to

Agreements have been reached and partnership has been entered into, but critics have stressed that until African governments tackle corruption no meaning growth or development may be recorded.