COVID-19 UPDATES: All the stories and commentaries on Coronavirus, in one place



To Silence the Guns, Walk the Talk


February 15 , 2020 . By Eden Sahle



African leaders have failed Africa. From staggering mismanagement of welfare, fiscal and monetary policies to weak institutions, conflicts and power grabs, there is much Africans have learned to endure from their leaders. They have scarred the African continent, and it will take decades if we manage to get out of the mud.

Leadership, despite recent efforts to the contrary, is seen as an opportunity to enrich oneself instead of serving the public. Prime ministers and presidents are civil servants, yet they consider their position one where they have the privilege to intimidate and violate human, political, legal and economic rights.

Lack of justice, redress and accountability is still the biggest problem the continent continues to tolerate. Leaders often use violence against civilians despite making promises that they would not.

Leaders’ intolerance for criticism as well as their entrenched disregard for political rights has allowed them to rule their countries with seeming impunity until they are driven out of office by yet another movement that wants to shape the state in its image. Sitting in their lavish publicly-funded offices, they act as if they own the country. In their drive for absolute power, they often see the public and organised groups as a threat to their ambitions.

Those who demand rights are detained without charge and access to lawyers. When they are charged, it is often on flimsy grounds that any informed person knows were politically motivated. Citizens are robbed of their human, constitutional and economic rights. National and international laws are violated and left unaccounted for. Conflicts are allowed to linger, along with recurring humanitarian crises and persistent forms of violations, forcing millions to flee their countries in disillusionment.

Ironically, African heads of state and government meet every year to promise peace and prosperity for the African continent as if they are not a major part of the problem. This year’s African Union summit has an even bolder theme, “Silencing the Guns: Creating conducive conditions for Africa’s development.” This is while civil war rages in countries such as South Sudan and Libya, mostly as a consequence of the agendas of their political leaders that would otherwise have attended this summit had circumstances been conducive.

It would be a great achievement to “silence the guns”. It will be a game-changer to have a conflict-free Africa. It  is an inspiring promise to prevent conflict and make peace a reality.

To give credit where it is due, the campaign rightfully targets governments of member states as they are the ones who need to implement it primarily. It is a call that reminded governments that peace, security and the overall protection of citizens lie within their hands. As long as leaders tackle the root causes of poverty effectively by solving the political, economic, social and environmental crises, they will have the mandate to rule.

Effective implementation of these visions requires leaders who are ready to change. They are required to be full of integrity and courage, creating independent institutions and systems that benefit current and future generations. This is the only way that history will kindly look back on them.

Africa deserves selfless governments that live up to their promise and are accountable instead of pointing fingers at everyone else except themselves. They should stand up for the public interest and have the courage to acknowledge defeat and peacefully transfer power. Leaders ought to focus their energy and time on representing the people rather than spending all the time to craft strategies to lengthen their hold on power.

Africans are tired of empty promises, as “silencing the guns” would be in the face of leaders that are, by and large, unready to relinquish their hold on power. Without walking the talk, there will not be prosperity or democracy.

The public should also play its role in having zero tolerance for corruption. The public should have a strong interest in the country’s political and economic affairs and push governments to focus on the quality of education, job creation, justice, good governance and the effective use of resources.

The public should have the unshakeable commitment to being an active participant in the endeavour to build a prosperous country. When we all do our parts consistently, we will have on our hands an Africa everyone will be excited to live in.



PUBLISHED ON Feb 15,2020 [ VOL 20 , NO 1033]



Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law and international economic law. She can be reached at edensah2000@gmail.com.






Editors' Pick




Editorial




Fortune news



Drop us a message

Or see contact page