Envoy, VC hinge Africa’s development, future on sustainable peace, security
Ambassador and Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of The Gambia to the United Nations, Lang Yabou, has said that peace and security are key to achieving sustainable development in the Africa, saying that efforts to maintain peace must be guided.
Yabou, in his maiden eminent lecture series at Igbinedion University, Okada, with topic,” Sustainable Peace, Security, Social Inclusion as Catalysts for Africa’s Future and Development, said security is important for Africa’s future because current conflicts are hindering development.
In his remark, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Lawrence Ezemonye, who described Yabou as an accomplished, distinguished and acclaimed diplomat per excellence, said the eminent lecture series of the institution was one platform for knowledge exchange, town and gown interface and community impartation.
He said conflicts have a direct effect on the management of land-based resources, which are needed for Africa’s future, adding that there is the need for good management of land-based resources, such as diamond and oil, which had often led to conflict in the continent, in particular property rights.
Lamenting that Africa is the most sub-divided continent with small and fragmented economies that undermine the continent’s position in the global development arena, Yabou said: “In spite of the long-standing commitments and the emphasis placed on African leaders on the process of regional integration, this has been slow and therefore remains a major challenge for Africa.
“Today, conflicts in Africa are causing fewer fatalities than in the 1990s, but the number of violent incidents is increasing, and violence is becoming more complex.”
Yabou, who noted that Africa’s high conflict burden requires continued investment in conflict prevention, control of arms, security and sector reform, the rule of law and regional forces, said many African countries were under pressure to increase inclusion when the foundation of sufficient security and state capacity upon which to build democracy are still fragile.
He said that maintaining peace-keeping in Africa is costing the international community over a billion dollar yearly, adding that it is disheartening to note that conflicts in Africa formed a bulk of the agenda of the UN Security Council but, yet Africa does not have a permanent seat on the Security Council.
He noted that to achieve accelerated peace and stability in Africa, her leaders must engage in proactive, holistic and inclusive approaches to conflict prevention before escalation.
“For peace and security to take root in the continent, prioritising development, investments in healing the nations, paying attention to the feelings of the people, use of women leaders network and dialogue platforms as tools for mediation and dialogue, focusing on our commonalities rather than our differences to overcome barriers and prevent conflict, will be essential,” Yabou said.