AFRICA

In the light of strengthening the spirit of communication between nations and support of human values; the young Chadian player Idriss Dougaye (12 years old), and the junior Chadian reporter Hamza Assef (12 years old) were chosen from Chad’s “Farcha Milezi” academy in order to participate and represent Chad in the International Children’s Forum, to which the Russian company Gazprom annually invites hundreds of young players from top African, Asian, European and South American football clubs.

The young Chadian star will be accompanied by the emerging journalist Assef for the final events of the program, which will take place in the Russian capital Moscow, from June 8 to June 15. These include the International Friendship Camp for three days, the International Football Tournament for Friendship and the Children’s Forum. The two Chadian children will participate in the program as ambassadors of their country to support the basic human values: friendship, equality, justice, health, peace, dedication, victory and honor promoted by the program.

Children participating in the Forum not only meet and communicate with their peers from other countries, as well as famous football players and public figures, but also become young ambassadors to promote universal values by themselves among their age-mates.

The Football for Friendship program’s mission is to developing children’s football; promoting youth sports and a healthy lifestyle; promoting friendship among children from different countries, fostering tolerance and respect toward other cultures and ethnicities.

The program was first launched in 2013 with the aim of improving the skills of young football and promoting healthy lifestyles, as well as promoting peace, openness and friendship among children from around the globe.

This year’s program has seen the launch of the sixth season, which had been held from February 15 to June 15, 2018, with the participation of a large number of countries and regions to reach 211 countries and regions from all over the world.

Football for Friendship is supported by such renowned footballers as Vitor Baia, Didier Drogba, Anatoly Tymoshchuk, Luis Neto, and Ralf Faehrmann, as well as football associations and federations in many countries.

The program is supported by FIFA, UEFA, the European Football Association, the Olympic Committee, the Paralympics, football associations and children’s institutions, as well as hundreds of prominent athletes and thousands of journalists from all over the world over the past years.

It is also worth mentioning that the previous events were held in London, Lisbon, Berlin, Milan and St. Peter’s. The number of people who know about the program is about 3700 participants and one billion people worldwide. Over the past years; the program has expanded from 8 to 211 countries and regions.

The Budget Speech by Mr Amadou Sanneh at the Gambia National Assembly in Banjul is brilliant, comprehensive and one of the best budget speeches I have heard and listened to regarding Gambia in recent years. It was presented by a notable economist, a seasoned politician and a very humble man. I had the honour of meeting him last year at an International conference in Jeddah. In the thirty minutes we met, he never discussed his personal ordeals at the hands of the former regime. Rather, he spoke substantively of macroeconomic policies to move Gambia forward.

I listened to his maiden budget speech on Friday 15th December 2017 from A to Z and found in it profundity, substance and policy. He started the Speech by the fact that the New Gambia inherited a debt burden of D58.5 billion (over 120% of GDP). I am no economist, but common sense can dictate to us the seriousness of the above assertion. According to the Minister, the New Government has a gigantic task to undo the 22 years of economic mismanagement and replace that with sound and good economic governance and financial discipline. Indeed, it is not going to be an easy task to rectify the many years of fiscal indiscipline and financial impropriety. However, that needs prudence and calmness to put heads together for a better and prosperous Gambia regardless of political affiliations and ethnic backgrounds. Gambia needs people with ideas and talents to fix the years of damage and mess economically, politically, socially and educationally. The country needs an overhaul in all the sectors. The country faces acute managerial and administrative issues that require urgent attention. The new Head of Civil service is introducing positive reforms in the civil service.  The highlights of the Budget Speech include the following:

  1. Despite the legacy of a great debt burden inherited from the previous regime, the Government of Gambia is bent on initiating a reform agenda economically and institutionally to create efficiency within the Government, stimulate the economy and attract investment by the business community
  2. Increasing transport allowance for the lower paid public employees
  3. Commissioning of research on aligning Gambian pensions policies with world standards to provide Gambians with decent pension scheme during retirement

Minister Sanneh pointed out that the energy sector will witness marked improvement in the coming months and years. On another note, he emphasises the Government efforts to secure a good deal with partners to start tapping into the natural resources of the Gambia in both the energy and mineral sectors.

It is indisputable that the broken economy inherited will not be easily fixed. It will require concerted and collective efforts of all the Gambians in  Gambia and in the diaspora to cross-fertilise ideas in order to bring Gambia out of the mess it was put in for decades.

The Budget Speech is essentially a framework for economic stimulation, transformation and attraction of investors to Gambia. I am sure the Speech must have sent positive signals to global financial markets and created an assurance that the economy of Gambia is in safe hands and on the trajectory of recovery. We believe that this new economic transformation that Gambia is witnessing and the trajectory the Government is taking will change the livelihood of the ordinary Gambians and will enable them to provide their loved ones with basics necessities. I think it will soon be a right for every Gambian to have a decent education, a good standard of living and health insurance. These should be coupled with Government efforts to develop the infrastructure of Gambia both physical and human. It is not impossible to achieve the above if there is willingness to tap into the wealth of experience Gambians have intellectually, technically and above all the rich cultural heritage Gambia is endowed with. I have emphasised a lot on human infrastructure in my previous articles to underline the supremacy of human dignity, human freedom and human rights. It is easier to build the physical infrastructure than the human infrastructure.

 

Dr. Alhagi Manta Drammeh is an Associate Professor at Al-Maktoum College of Higher Education, Scotland, UK.

The nature of opposition politics in Nigeria is such that, matters that should ordinarily generate healthy public debates are often relegated for petty issues or otherwise implicated in mere rabble-rousing. This sometimes makes a party in power to be lost in avoidable denial of the obvious. The comments made by Bill Gates at the expanded national economic council meeting on March 22, 2018 gave a trampoline for the opposition parties to raise their value in the political space by enriching the developmental debate with their findings on the government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP). Bill Gates had said that the execution priorities of the ERGP do not fully reflect people’s needs, prioritizing physical capital over human capital (words which he reiterated in an interview with the CNN). In all conscience however, he acknowledged the fact that the Economic Growth and Recovery Plan identifies investing in people as one of the three strategic objectives.

To put the matter in perspective, we can infer from the foregoing that Bill Gates did not fault the plan but, its implementation. He specifically harped on the string that the investment in young people, in health and education is not good enough. Over time, Nigeria has had wonderful development plans but the problem has always been with implementation and ensuring plan discipline. Hence, it is imperative that we look at different responses and case scenarios to this timely caution and voice of reason. These scenarios on whether the lessons are lost are presented in a typical multiple-choice format of “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe.”

The “Yes” scenario: The Lessons are lost

In the case the lessons from the comment are lost, there are certain indications which include: trivializing the comments or reducing it to another national joke as to whether Bill Gates is an economist or not. First, it wasn’t a comment made by a pseudo neoliberal scholar to sly the government of another country. Rather, he was invited to participate in the expanded economic council meeting having considered him worthy of that. Another indication would be whisking away the comment in a cavalierly attitude like “we-are-doing-good-enough.” However, it will be bold to pretend that the investments in young people in health and education in the country are good enough. As a matter of coincidence, in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria a week after the comment, the President of the Nigerian Medical Association, Mike Ogirima, said that Nigeria had a ratio of one doctor to 6,000 people as against the WHO’s recommendation of one doctor to 600 people in a community. He decried the lack of facility to absorb almost 3,000 medical doctors being produced annually by the medical schools despite the need for them. According to him, those rounding off their training in medical schools lack places to do their one year training. Yet, those who are engaged are daunted by poor working condition as a result of lack of hospital equipments, poor facilities and understaffing forcing many to seek better opportunities abroad. This, no doubt, will have a serious impact on the quality of health service and the productivity of the people.

In the same vein, no nation can grow beyond its education system. Education is the treasure trove for the human capital of a nation. At a time of critical change, nations always turn to their education sector to serve as the conveyor belt and pillar of support for the desired development. After the launch of Sputnik 1 as the first artificial Earth satellite by the Soviet Union in 1957, America felt they might be outstripped by their archrival in space technology. Hence, they overhauled their education system and adopted pragmatism as the new education philosophy. The education system in Nigeria is yet to receive such a wave of change to lead in the march to greatness. Many emerging economies are investing in their young ones through education. According to Kishore Mahbubani, educational excellence is a prerequisite for cultural confidence. He asserted that, what makes Asia’s rise to be irreversible is the simultaneous successes of China and India. Both countries have the most optimistic generation of young people they have seen in centuries. Nothing can hold down the dynamism and rigor they will bring to their societies and the whole world. For instance, education is one of the key indicators in measuring Global Innovation Index. The top 25 spots in the list have always belonged to the high-income economies. In 2016, China broke through this barrier and took 25th place and by 2017, China inched up to 22 in the list. If the leadership of the country remains complacent in their education for “meal ticket” system in this innovation driven and knowledge based world, then the lessons from Bill’s comment are undoubtedly lost.

The “No” scenario: (The lessons are not lost)

If we tick the “No” response scenario, that would amount to a positive attitude by the leadership of the country and accepting the comment in good faith. The manifestation of that would include factoring in social inclusion measurement and indicators in the periodic assessment of the ERGP especially in relation to the young population in Nigeria. The young people constitute about 60% of the estimated population of 180 million which makes their case a concern for all. A positive reaction would also require assessing the effectiveness of current policies and programmes aimed at the young people such as the N-Power and school feeding programme. Importantly, measuring social inclusion is highly relevant in order for countries to assess their performance, to determine the progress being made and to evaluate the impact of their policies. Social inclusion indicators should not only focus on economic growth but also on social spending and access to services. The measurement should cover areas such as poverty alleviation, access to social services (education, health and sanitation), access to job/decent works, social protection, opportunity to participate in decision making process (that affect their lives), housing, empowerment etc. This would ensure the government’s plans are kept on track as stated in the ERGP to support the economically disadvantaged, create jobs, improve accessibility, affordability and equality of health care across the country and guarantee improved human capital through access to basic education for all.

The “Maybe” Scenario (Not sure whether the lessons are lost or not)

This case scenario would be that of finding reasons to justify the current mode of executing the ERGP. The country truly reels under the burden of infrastructural deficit as a result of abandoned projects that have accumulated over time. The infrastructural decadence arising from the mismanagement of past administrations dictates that we must start from somewhere. This is in addition to the fact that we just emerged from a serious recession.

Nevertheless, we would still want to be reassured that we are on course with the implementation pattern of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan. Perhaps, the National Orientation Agency will work towards carrying the people along in government policy execution so that we can be convinced that we have not lost focus as a nation.

 

Kamal Ololade Ahmed is a graduate of Political Science and Public Administration and he is currently a postgraduate student at the Nigerian Defence Academy where he is pursuing a Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies.

 

Ramaphosa, the ANC, and the oppositions’ track record make it seem likely that the status quo will continue. Presumably, inter-party feuds are far from resolved with Zuma’s departure, and in these fights, the South African people stand to lose the most.

BY: KATIE DOBOSZ KENNEY

On February 15th, 2018, Jacob Zuma resigned from the office of president effective immediately, a position he has held since 2009. Over the past year, Zuma’s approval rating sank to an all-time low of 18%– he faced increased scrutiny by opposition parties for corruption, and barely survived a vote of no confidence in August 2017. His resignation came at the urging of his party, the African National Congress, to step down. The following day, Cyril Ramaphosa was elected by parliament to serve as interim president until the 2019 elections. The change in power was greeted by celebration from the ANC and cautious optimism from opposition parties eager to remove Zuma from power.

Effectively combating systemic corruption has been a failure of the South African government for years. Even out of office, Zuma still faces close to 800 charges of corruption, and as recently as last week, the government went after Zuma’s affiliates, including the Gupta business family for their long suspected influence over government contracts and political appointments. Widespread civilian discontent of government corruption has boiled over into protests over the last two years, including the clothing and textile labor unions and university students in the Fees Must Fallmovement. South Africa remains one of the most economically unequal nations in the world while over 7 million of its citizens are HIV positive. President Ramaphosa promises to end the era of state capture and to work with opposition leaders for the good of the South African people. But will we see much of the same corruption and in-fighting even with new leadership? Ramaphosa, the ANC, and the oppositions’ track record make it seem likely that the status quo will continue.

The deputy president since 2014, Cyril Ramaphosa was a devout labor unionist in the anti-Apartheid movement and founder of the National Union of Mineworkers in 1982. After being passed over for the position of deputy under Nelson Mandela, Ramaphosa became involved with the Black Economic Empowerment program, from which he benefited greatly. His net worth is now approximately $700 million; but it is wealth generated through his firm and Shanduka’s questionable investment in union-active industries like mining. At best, Ramaphosa’s corruption is limited to profiting from this conflict of interest. At worst, it implicates him in the murder of 34 miners during protests against the NUM’s perceived support of mine owners over laborers. Despite charges linking him to the incident being dropped, many still suspect his guilt, including opposition leader Julius Malema, with whom Ramaphosa is now supposedly dedicated to working with.

Julius Malema founded the Economic Freedom Fighters in 2013 after being ousted from the ANC for his incendiary personality and divisive viewpoints. Malema espouses a racially-leaning populist agenda, including nationalizing the mining industry. He was found guilty of hate speech against white South Africans in 2011 and charged for inciting violence in 2017 for encouraging black South Africans to take over unoccupied land. Though his fervor and personal mission to remove Zuma from power has gained Malema popularity, the EFF only earned 8% of the vote in the last election.

The largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA) has unfortunately functioned almost exclusively as a watchdog to the ANC’s political and financial corruption, a position to which they will hold steadfast even under Ramaphosa, according to party leader, Mmusi Maimane. Seen historically as the party of white South Africans, the DA has struggled to gain widespread support of the majority black population – a perception emboldened by the fact that it took until 2015 for the DA to elect its first black leader.

Presumably, inter-party feuds are far from resolved with Zuma’s departure, and in these fights, the South African people stand to lose the most. Unemployment consistently reported at around 27%, but when speaking with citizens of Kliptown and Soweto in June 2017, historically two of the poorest neighborhoods in South Africa, they expressed that many South Africans believe the rate to be much higher.

Additionally, Cape Town is about to become the first modern city to completely run out its water supply. The countdown to “Day Zero” or the day the city will officially run out of water is likely to occur sometime between April and June of 2018. Severe austerity measures are currently in place, limiting residents to approximately 6.5 gallons of water per day for everything from bathing to cooking.

Nelson Mandela would likely not recognize this South Africa from the one he liberated in 1994, and the citizens’ blatant cries for the South Africa of Madiba seem to have fallen on deaf ears. May the end of Jacob Zuma’s reign be the first step toward healing and a word of warning to Ramaphosa and his contemporaries who choose to neglect the will and well-being of South Africa.

Katie Dobosz Kenney holds an MS in Global Affairs from New York University with a concentration in Peacebuilding. An educator for almost 10 years, Katie had developed global and peace education curricula in Florida, Mississippi, and Timor-Leste. Katie currently works as a graduate program administrator at NYU’s Center for Global Affairs and has co-lead study abroad programs to South Africa and the UAE. 

This article was originally published by Political Insight and is available Here.

 

Who are the Richest African Countries today? Africa is blessed with an important amount of mineral reserve. Among these reserves are included gold, cobalt, platinum, manganese, diamond, uranium and many more. Unfortunately, due to many reasons,  African countries have been unable to harness these resources into great wealth. However, it seems that with the new generation of African Leaders this is about to change.

There still a number of African countries that have done better than the others. We’ve compiled a list of these top 10 richest African countries based on their current economic performances and their GDP per capita1.

EQUATORIAL GUINEA

Based on its GDP per capita of $36515, Equatorial Guinea is the richest country in Africa. Oil discovery in this nation in1996 was the event that turned the economy around.Large hydrocarbon revenues made it possible in 2017 to continue major structural changes underway for over 20 years, both in infrastructure and human development.

One of the major challenges in stimulating entrepreneurship is the opening up of the market, in particular, the improvement of the business climate and better regional integration.

GABON

Gabon ranks as the second richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $15960.

Real GDP growth declined to 2.9% in 2016 from 4% the previous year, mainly due to the lower price of oil.

Economic diversification should take account of high unemployment levels, notably among youth (46% of those under 25 are jobless), and a 34.3% poverty rate.

In order to encourage entrepreneurship and industrialization, the government is focusing on developing vocational skills among youth

BOTSWANA 

The government of Botswana has been able to channel the country’s revenue from diamonds into development. Botswana’s GDP per capita is $14753.

The economy recovered in 2016 to 2.9%, driven by the rebound in the global diamond market.

Growth prospects remain favorable but crucially depend on continued rebound in the global diamond market, improved reliability in electricity and water supply, as well as reforms.

Reducing vulnerability to adverse shocks will require accelerating the pace of reforms aimed at enhancing competitiveness and improving the business climate to promote industrialization and entrepreneurship.

MAURITIUS

Mauritius is the fastest growing wealth market in Africa. One of the major factors that have promoted growth is the favorable government policies. In fact, Mauritius is ranked number 1 in Africa in terms of ease of doing business.

The pace of economic growth was moderate in 2017, with the economy growing by 3.6% compared with 3.4% in 2015 reflecting a slight increase in domestic investment that was offset by weak external demand.

Political stability and sound macroeconomic management continue to promote investor confidence. Higher skills and productivity levels would make the country more competitive and innovative.

The government has demonstrated a firm commitment to promoting, industrialization and entrepreneurship, in an effort to boost sustainable economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the economy.

 SOUTH AFRICA

One-third of Africa’s 50 richest individuals are South Africans. The overall GDP of this country is $555, 000, 000, 000

Economic growth decelerated to 0.3% in 2016 although it is expected to rebound to 1.1% in 2017 and higher in later years.

Growth prospects will be driven by moderately stronger global growth, more favorable weather conditions, reliable electricity supply, less volatile labor relations, recovering business and consumer confidence, and stabilizing commodity prices.

The industrialization strategy is geared towards promoting entrepreneurship, which will also help to generate employment.

LIBYA

Crude oil accounts for a large portion of Libya’s revenue. Their GDP per capita stands at $10129 and the overall GDP is $66, 941, 000, 000

Real GDP growth was -8.1% in 2016, against -10.1% the previous year, due to a slight improvement in oil production, and is expected to recover to -4.9% in 2017 following exemption from OPEC’s supply cap, the recapture of eastern ports and reopening of oil pipelines.

A persistent struggle for power has prevented the rival governments from converging towards common ground.

Political instability, humanitarian crisis and security issues continue to hinder efforts to re-establish control over the economy and most national strategies, including those related to industrialisation and entrepreneurship, have remained on hold.

TUNISIA 

    The gross domestic value of Tunisia is over $100 billion dollars.

    Real GDP growth rate of 1.0% was lower than the 2.6% predicted in the 2016 budget but is projected to increase with accelerated implementation of the 2016-20 strategic development (PSD)

    The new administration elected on 31 August 2016 called for reforms to be intensified.

    Tunisia raised TND 34 billion (Tunisian dinars) in pledged public and private funding at an international conference on the investment held in late November to promote the creation of more wealth and jobs.

     ALGERIA

    This is another Northern Africa country that ranks among the top richest with a GDP per capita of $8715.

    In 2016, real GDP grew by 3.5% down from 3.8% recorded the previous year on account of lower oil price.

    In July 2016, the government adopted a new economic growth plan (2016-30) focusing on the private sector and a three-year budget stabilization strategy.

    The non-oil and gas industry accounted for no more than 5% of GDP in 2016, compared with 35% at the end of the 1980s, so the authorities are looking towards a re-industrialization of the country.

    NAMIBIA

    Namibia is another country on the list with a GDP per capita $6826. 

    Growth sharply moderated to 1.3% in 2016 but should be rebound in 2017 as the agriculture sector recovers and production from new mines accelerates.

    On-going fiscal consolidation policy measures to reduce public debt and help address the current account imbalance will need to protect growth-promoting public investments.

    The “Growth at Home” strategy for industrialization and the policy for promoting micro, small and medium enterprises provide a strong foundation for diversification and job creation but the pace for business environment reforms needs increasing to support entrepreneurship.

    EGYPT

    With a gross domestic of over $500 billion, Egypt is one of the richest countries in Africa Although recent crises in Egypt has affected the economy of the country, their GDP per capita still stands at $6324.

    The economic outlook for 2017 remains cautiously optimistic largely based on the government’s ability to maintain the policy and structural reform agenda as well as successfully implement the sustainable development strategy.

    Assuming economic policy and structural reform implementation, growth is expected to accelerate as confidence returns and investment increases, although some domestic issues and global economic headwinds will remain challenges.

    Overall, Egypt can reverse the major and long-standing trend of low and non-inclusive growth along with weak employment prospects on the basis of the potential of the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors.

     

    Sources :

    http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/country-notes/egypt

    Who are the Richest African Countries today? Africa is blessed with an important amount of mineral reserve. Among these reserves are included gold, cobalt, platinum, manganese, diamond, uranium and many more. Unfortunately, due to many reasons,  African countries have been unable to harness these resources into great wealth. However, it seems that with the new generation of African Leaders this is about to change.

    There still a number of African countries that have done better than the others. We’ve compiled a list of these top 10 richest African countries based on their current economic performances and their GDP per capita1.

    EQUATORIAL GUINEA

    • Based on its GDP per capita of $36515, Equatorial Guinea is the richest country in Africa. Oil discovery in this nation in1996 was the event that turned the economy around.
    • Large hydrocarbon revenues made it possible in 2017 to continue major structural changes underway for over 20 years, both in infrastructure and human development.
    • One of the major challenges in stimulating entrepreneurship is the opening up of the market, in particular, the improvement of the business climate and better regional integration.

    GABON

    • Gabon ranks as the second richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $15960.
    • Real GDP growth declined to 2.9% in 2016 from 4% the previous year, mainly due to the lower price of oil.
    • Economic diversification should take account of high unemployment levels, notably among youth (46% of those under 25 are jobless), and a 34.3% poverty rate.

    In order to encourage entrepreneurship and industrialization, the government is focusing on developing vocational skills among youth

    BOTSWANA 

    The government of Botswana has been able to channel the country’s revenue from diamonds into development. Botswana’s GDP per capita is $14753.

      • The economy recovered in 2016 to 2.9%, driven by the rebound in the global diamond market.
      • Growth prospects remain favorable but crucially depend on continued rebound in the global diamond market, improved reliability in electricity and water supply, as well as reforms.
      • Reducing vulnerability to adverse shocks will require accelerating the pace of reforms aimed at enhancing competitiveness and improving the business climate to promote industrialization and entrepreneurship.

    MAURITIUS

    • Mauritius is the fastest growing wealth market in Africa. One of the major factors that have promoted growth is the favorable government policies. In fact, Mauritius is ranked number 1 in Africa in terms of ease of doing business.
    • The pace of economic growth was moderate in 2017, with the economy growing by 3.6% compared with 3.4% in 2015 reflecting a slight increase in domestic investment that was offset by weak external demand.
    • Political stability and sound macroeconomic management continue to promote investor confidence. Higher skills and productivity levels would make the country more competitive and innovative.
    • The government has demonstrated a firm commitment to promoting, industrialization and entrepreneurship, in an effort to boost sustainable economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the economy.

     SOUTH AFRICA

    One-third of Africa’s 50 richest individuals are South Africans. The overall GDP of this country is $555, 000, 000, 000

    • Economic growth decelerated to 0.3% in 2016 although it is expected to rebound to 1.1% in 2017 and higher in later years.
    • Growth prospects will be driven by moderately stronger global growth, more favorable weather conditions, reliable electricity supply, less volatile labor relations, recovering business and consumer confidence, and stabilizing commodity prices.
    • The industrialization strategy is geared towards promoting entrepreneurship, which will also help to generate employment.

    LIBYA

    • Crude oil accounts for a large portion of Libya’s revenue. Their GDP per capita stands at $10129 and the overall GDP is $66, 941, 000, 000
    • Real GDP growth was -8.1% in 2016, against -10.1% the previous year, due to a slight improvement in oil production, and is expected to recover to -4.9% in 2017 following exemption from OPEC’s supply cap, the recapture of eastern ports and reopening of oil pipelines.
    • A persistent struggle for power has prevented the rival governments from converging towards common ground.
    • Political instability, humanitarian crisis and security issues continue to hinder efforts to re-establish control over the economy and most national strategies, including those related to industrialisation and entrepreneurship, have remained on hold.

    TUNISIA 

      • The gross domestic value of Tunisia is over $100 billion dollars.
      • Real GDP growth rate of 1.0% was lower than the 2.6% predicted in the 2016 budget but is projected to increase with accelerated implementation of the 2016-20 strategic development (PSD)
      • The new administration elected on 31 August 2016 called for reforms to be intensified.
      • Tunisia raised TND 34 billion (Tunisian dinars) in pledged public and private funding at an international conference on the investment held in late November to promote the creation of more wealth and jobs.

       ALGERIA

      This is another Northern Africa country that ranks among the top richest with a GDP per capita of $8715.

      • In 2016, real GDP grew by 3.5% down from 3.8% recorded the previous year on account of lower oil price.
      • In July 2016, the government adopted a new economic growth plan (2016-30) focusing on the private sector and a three-year budget stabilization strategy.
      • The non-oil and gas industry accounted for no more than 5% of GDP in 2016, compared with 35% at the end of the 1980s, so the authorities are looking towards a re-industrialization of the country.

      NAMIBIA

      Namibia is another country on the list with a GDP per capita $6826. 

      • Growth sharply moderated to 1.3% in 2016 but should be rebound in 2017 as the agriculture sector recovers and production from new mines accelerates.
      • On-going fiscal consolidation policy measures to reduce public debt and help address the current account imbalance will need to protect growth-promoting public investments.
      • The “Growth at Home” strategy for industrialization and the policy for promoting micro, small and medium enterprises provide a strong foundation for diversification and job creation but the pace for business environment reforms needs increasing to support entrepreneurship.

      EGYPT

      With a gross domestic of over $500 billion, Egypt is one of the richest countries in Africa Although recent crises in Egypt has affected the economy of the country, their GDP per capita still stands at $6324.

      • The economic outlook for 2017 remains cautiously optimistic largely based on the government’s ability to maintain the policy and structural reform agenda as well as successfully implement the sustainable development strategy.
      • Assuming economic policy and structural reform implementation, growth is expected to accelerate as confidence returns and investment increases, although some domestic issues and global economic headwinds will remain challenges.
      • Overall, Egypt can reverse the major and long-standing trend of low and non-inclusive growth along with weak employment prospects on the basis of the potential of the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors.

      Sources :

      • http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/country-notes/egypt

      Who are the Richest African Countries today? Africa is blessed with an important amount of mineral reserve. Among these reserves are included gold, cobalt, platinum, manganese, diamond, uranium and many more. Unfortunately, due to many reasons,  African countries have been unable to harness these resources into great wealth. However, it seems that with the new generation of African Leaders this is about to change.

      There still a number of African countries that have done better than the others. We’ve compiled a list of these top 10 richest African countries based on their current economic performances and their GDP per capita1.

      EQUATORIAL GUINEA

      • Based on its GDP per capita of $36515, Equatorial Guinea is the richest country in Africa. Oil discovery in this nation in1996 was the event that turned the economy around.
      • Large hydrocarbon revenues made it possible in 2017 to continue major structural changes underway for over 20 years, both in infrastructure and human development.
      • One of the major challenges in stimulating entrepreneurship is the opening up of the market, in particular, the improvement of the business climate and better regional integration.

      GABON

      • Gabon ranks as the second richest country in Africa with a GDP per capita of $15960.
      • Real GDP growth declined to 2.9% in 2016 from 4% the previous year, mainly due to the lower price of oil.
      • Economic diversification should take account of high unemployment levels, notably among youth (46% of those under 25 are jobless), and a 34.3% poverty rate.

      In order to encourage entrepreneurship and industrialization, the government is focusing on developing vocational skills among youth

      BOTSWANA 

      The government of Botswana has been able to channel the country’s revenue from diamonds into development. Botswana’s GDP per capita is $14753.

        • The economy recovered in 2016 to 2.9%, driven by the rebound in the global diamond market.
        • Growth prospects remain favorable but crucially depend on continued rebound in the global diamond market, improved reliability in electricity and water supply, as well as reforms.
        • Reducing vulnerability to adverse shocks will require accelerating the pace of reforms aimed at enhancing competitiveness and improving the business climate to promote industrialization and entrepreneurship.

      MAURITIUS

      • Mauritius is the fastest growing wealth market in Africa. One of the major factors that have promoted growth is the favorable government policies. In fact, Mauritius is ranked number 1 in Africa in terms of ease of doing business.
      • The pace of economic growth was moderate in 2017, with the economy growing by 3.6% compared with 3.4% in 2015 reflecting a slight increase in domestic investment that was offset by weak external demand.
      • Political stability and sound macroeconomic management continue to promote investor confidence. Higher skills and productivity levels would make the country more competitive and innovative.
      • The government has demonstrated a firm commitment to promoting, industrialization and entrepreneurship, in an effort to boost sustainable economic growth and enhance the competitiveness of the economy.

       SOUTH AFRICA

      One-third of Africa’s 50 richest individuals are South Africans. The overall GDP of this country is $555, 000, 000, 000

      • Economic growth decelerated to 0.3% in 2016 although it is expected to rebound to 1.1% in 2017 and higher in later years.
      • Growth prospects will be driven by moderately stronger global growth, more favorable weather conditions, reliable electricity supply, less volatile labor relations, recovering business and consumer confidence, and stabilizing commodity prices.
      • The industrialization strategy is geared towards promoting entrepreneurship, which will also help to generate employment.

      LIBYA

      • Crude oil accounts for a large portion of Libya’s revenue. Their GDP per capita stands at $10129 and the overall GDP is $66, 941, 000, 000
      • Real GDP growth was -8.1% in 2016, against -10.1% the previous year, due to a slight improvement in oil production, and is expected to recover to -4.9% in 2017 following exemption from OPEC’s supply cap, the recapture of eastern ports and reopening of oil pipelines.
      • A persistent struggle for power has prevented the rival governments from converging towards common ground.
      • Political instability, humanitarian crisis and security issues continue to hinder efforts to re-establish control over the economy and most national strategies, including those related to industrialisation and entrepreneurship, have remained on hold.

      TUNISIA 

        • The gross domestic value of Tunisia is over $100 billion dollars.
        • Real GDP growth rate of 1.0% was lower than the 2.6% predicted in the 2016 budget but is projected to increase with accelerated implementation of the 2016-20 strategic development (PSD)
        • The new administration elected on 31 August 2016 called for reforms to be intensified.
        • Tunisia raised TND 34 billion (Tunisian dinars) in pledged public and private funding at an international conference on the investment held in late November to promote the creation of more wealth and jobs.

         ALGERIA

        This is another Northern Africa country that ranks among the top richest with a GDP per capita of $8715.

        • In 2016, real GDP grew by 3.5% down from 3.8% recorded the previous year on account of lower oil price.
        • In July 2016, the government adopted a new economic growth plan (2016-30) focusing on the private sector and a three-year budget stabilization strategy.
        • The non-oil and gas industry accounted for no more than 5% of GDP in 2016, compared with 35% at the end of the 1980s, so the authorities are looking towards a re-industrialization of the country.

        NAMIBIA

        Namibia is another country on the list with a GDP per capita $6826. 

        • Growth sharply moderated to 1.3% in 2016 but should be rebound in 2017 as the agriculture sector recovers and production from new mines accelerates.
        • On-going fiscal consolidation policy measures to reduce public debt and help address the current account imbalance will need to protect growth-promoting public investments.
        • The “Growth at Home” strategy for industrialization and the policy for promoting micro, small and medium enterprises provide a strong foundation for diversification and job creation but the pace for business environment reforms needs increasing to support entrepreneurship.

        EGYPT

        With a gross domestic of over $500 billion, Egypt is one of the richest countries in Africa Although recent crises in Egypt has affected the economy of the country, their GDP per capita still stands at $6324.

        • The economic outlook for 2017 remains cautiously optimistic largely based on the government’s ability to maintain the policy and structural reform agenda as well as successfully implement the sustainable development strategy.
        • Assuming economic policy and structural reform implementation, growth is expected to accelerate as confidence returns and investment increases, although some domestic issues and global economic headwinds will remain challenges.
        • Overall, Egypt can reverse the major and long-standing trend of low and non-inclusive growth along with weak employment prospects on the basis of the potential of the industrial and entrepreneurial sectors.

        Sources :

        • http://www.africaneconomicoutlook.org/en/country-notes/egypt

        Even though, democracy is thriving and taking root across Sub-Saharan Africa, several countries on the Continent, are still lurching under the heft of tyranny and brutality at the hands of self-perpetuating despots who cling on to power by hook or by crook, through the manipulation of their respective Constitutions or the organization of dubious, bogus elections. 

        Africa’s patience with autocratic rulers is running thinner and thinner by the day, reinforcing the notion that Africa is rising.

        Gambia and Freedom

        When the smallest mainland African nation of the Gambia gained its freedom from the claws of Jammeh’s two-decade long tyranny, a wind of euphoria and a sense of optimism swept the Continent, particularly in countries that are lurching under one form of dictatorship or the other.  The citizens of those countries have looked up to the Gambia as a source of inspiration and hoped that one day they shall embrace democracy and rule of law and see the long night of autocracy come to an end.

        However, last August, Gambia’s Foreign Minister and leader of the United Democratic Party Ousainou Darboe raised eyebrows when his ministry issued a statement debunking a report carried by Reuters that the Gambia had called on Togo’s Faure Gnassingbé to step down, amid unprecedented protests against his attempts to re-introduce the 1992 Constitution with the sole aim of prolonging the Gnassingbé dynasty’s long overdue stay in power. His late father Gnassingbé Eyadéma, who came to power through a military coup, was the President of Togo from 1967 until his death in 2005.

        A statement released by Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs emphatically noted that “there is no reason warranting the government of the Gambia to take a position, since the Togolese people continue to make efforts to find a solution to the crisis.”

        Gnassingbé Dynasty

        I was personally disillusioned with Gambia’s decision to distance itself from Togolese people’s struggle to enjoy the freedom the Gambians are relishing after they booted Jammeh out through ballot box.

        The Gnassingbé dynasty has dominated Togo’s political scene for five decades with the people keenly looking forward to regime change.

        When Gambia’s former despotic ruler Yahya Jammeh rejected the outcome of the elections in the Gambia last December, after he had initially conceded defeat, an unprecedented impasse ensued and the country was on a brink of turmoil, Gambians were appreciative of every voice in support of their cause, so others would expect the same.

        The Gambia has a moral duty to lend support to the people of Togo to get rid of dictatorship. The Gambian government ought to scale down ties with a tyrant who has, along with Jammeh, thwarted ECOWAS’s plan to introduce a two-term period in West Africa.

        Africa’s patience with autocratic rulers is running thinner and thinner by the day, reinforcing the notion that Africa is rising.

        Continent’s Dinosaurs

        History was made last month when the people of Zimbabwe jubilated the ouster of Mugabe who ruled the Southern African nation of Zimbabwe for 37 years, which entails the bulk majority of Zimbabweans only knew Mugabe as their ruler.

        The Continent’s dinosaurs, including the longest serving African president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea (38 years), Paul Biya of Cameron (35 years), Denis Sassou Nguesso of Congo (33 years), Museveni of Uganda (31 years), Omar al-Bashir of Sudan (28 years) and Idriss Déby of Chad (27 years), should take note before they are red-carded and humiliated by their democracy yawning citizens.

         

        Even though it is a small country, the Gambia, can lend its voice to democracy aspiring African nations to ensure that democracy and rule of law are brought to those countries.

        By: Basidia Drammeh

        Gambian researcher – Canada

         

        Early this morning guns were heard a short distance away in my neighborhood. Quite surprised and worried of course. Perhaps no one prepared for a move in the neighborhood, as I understand that our military and police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. However, I am still wondering about a vast continent of more than 700 million people, where warfare still rages unchecked, and far too little is being done about it. – Civil wars in South Sudan, Central African Republic, Boko Haram’s insurgency in Nigeria and around the Lack Chad region, Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) are the recent examples of deadly conflicts that have killed and displaced millions of African men, women, and children.

        South Sudanese Soldier
        Credit :East Africa Daily

        Preventing Wars

        Realistically speaking, I am also still wondering why every effort to reduce societal stress and create peace in Africa has failed until now; diplomacy, international organizations like the United Nations, the African Union and the European Union—everything has failed. The long histories of war in the continent that continues unabated to the present, political will and institutions to intervene in such traditional conflicts and complicated –to-solve wars remain fragile and inadequate. It’s too silly and too much to wait for Paris, Washington and their allies to be involved in solving Africa’s problems all the time, because preventing domestic conflicts in Africa is primary an African task. There should be alternatives ways preventing wars, rather than fighting them, as long as diplomatic efforts seem equally powerless in a continent divided by religious, political and ethnic tensions that fuel violence and conflict – as most of these conflicts are fought within African states, not between.

        Obviously, a fundamentally new approach is needed for Africa. As long as traditional approaches to conflict resolution and conflict prevention fail, in large measure, perhaps, because they do not address the underlying cause of violence and social conflict within the continent, they do not relieve the acute religious, political and ethnic tensions that fuel tribal conflict and terrorism. For diplomacy and other conventional approaches to succeed, we first need an effective means to defuse these deep-seated tensions—an approach that can prevent these societal tensions from reaching the boiling point. Perhaps Invincible Defense Technology {IDT} is the best scientifically studied solution that Africa needs at the moment in order to reduce its societal stress, and help diplomatic solutions succeed.

        What is Invincible Defense Technology?

        US Military personnel practicing Invincible Defense Technology

        In an interview with Dr. David R. Leffler, Invincible Defense Technology expert and Executive Director at the Center for Advanced Military Science, argued that Invincible Defense Technology is a non-lethal, preemptive national defense strategy. It is better than other solution for a strong military because it prevents enemies from arising, and neutralizes existing enemies. The ultimate goal of IDT is to prevent enemies from arising by reducing the collective societal stress that culminates in crime, war and terrorism. IDT involves use of the Transcendental Meditation (TM) technique and its advanced practices, ideally by African militaries, to reduce this collective societal stress. Numerous extensive peer-reviewed studies have documented the efficacy of this approach. Military and police worldwide have successfully field-tested and are now using this approach.

        Furthermore, many IDT experts agree that IDT is a scientific solution for a strong military that is a non-lethal approach to achieve peace and stability. It is the best solution for a strong military due to following reasons:

        • Quietly demonstrated in conflict-prone regions
        • Scientifically studied
        • Non-religious, non-partisan
        • Easy to implement

        Dr. Leffler who advocates the creation of special Prevention Wings of the Military, argued that Africans need to understand that their domestic security is threatened whenever collective social stress builds up in society. If the national collective mood is one of contentment, then crime and violence are low, accidents and hospital admissions are fewer, employment and abundance rise for all individuals, and families are stable and supportive of the growth, education and progress of their children. The next generation then grows in a harmonious atmosphere, and all future generations likewise benefit. Conversely, if there is a buildup of tension and stress in the national mood, the result is disharmony, and disharmony is expressed in disorderly social behavior. Crime, violence, rioting, mobs, gangs, looting, and even accidents, hospital admissions, unemployment, poverty, hunger and famine are much more likely and more evident when the national mood is tense.

        “Africa needs the IDT right now”

        African governments could benefit from the example of nations in Latin America that have implemented IDT in their militaries. These governments have found that by reducing collective stress with IDT it is no longer necessary to dedicate a large portion of their GNP to domestic security. This is because the cost to implement IDT is minimal – less than the cost of one modern fighter jet. IDT provides the added advantage of requiring minimal time and training for deployment, and for this reason, is much more cost-effective than traditional defense. As the old saying goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Prevent military catastrophe with IDT, and the economy, the social life of the people, and the happiness of the entire African continent will naturally improve as well.

        “Unfavorable economic conditions and social injustice thrive in and further contribute to deteriorating, chaotic environments. Unrest may then flame up over unresolved territorial, political, religious, and cultural differences. Thus, dissatisfied and frustrated people contribute to national instability. When national tension builds up, it weakens the sovereignty of a nation. There is no domestic security with such an unstable government whose population is now more prone to war and internal conflict.” Dr. Leffler added.

        On the other hand, and in an exclusive interview with Colonel (Ret.) Brian M. Rees, M.D. former U.S Battalion Surgeon for the 310th Military Police Battalion at Camp Bucca, Iraq; argued that IDT or Brain Based Belligerency Reduction (B3R) in the form of groups of persons practicing a meditative technique called the TM-Sidhi Program can be applied to reduce hostilities and support civil society in targeted African populations.

        Over fifty studies have documented reductions in combat deaths, crime, and terrorist acts, and increased support of government, related to the size of the groups practicing the intervention. Yet, as Dr. Leffler notes, conflicts in African nations often spill unrest into bordering nations, with negative consequences.

        Many defense experts predict that the nature of future warfare and terrorism in Africa will change due to the easy availability of weapons of mass destruction. Defending against these weapons is extremely difficult, if not impossible. Thus, war and terrorism must be addressed at their root cause: collective social stress – by reducing social stress through the TM program, many other African militaries could prevent war and end conflict.

        “Africa needs to use the IDT right now, because as you can see from the wide range of effects of IDT/B3R, multiple areas in Africa would benefit, not only in the reduction of hostilities, but in the improvement of economic indices and governance.” Said Colonel Rees

        Colonel Rees might absolutely be right, because we have seen after Mozambique’s civil war; the economy boomed, and the crime rate decreased. President Alberto Joachim Chissano attributed the war’s demise and these other positive trends largely to new human resource technology he called a “new secret weapon.” He and many other military leaders are convinced that these changes occurred from the implementation of this new technology called Vedic defense technology.

        Conflict Fuels More Conflict

        For his part, Dr. Leffler believes that without enemies, everyone wins. Hence, this is why the technology is invincible. Terrorism cannot be eliminated by destroying the terrorists. Any step in the direction of destruction only helps to create more terrorists and more wars. More terrorists only results in more waves of destruction. There is no wisdom in initiating a continuous theme of destruction in the name of protection. Prudence dictates eliminating the underlying cause of terrorism, war and all types of violence—collective social stress.

        Studies show that there are other important IDT and individual benefits to be gained for warriors who regularly practice TM. They have shown that the TM technique improves wellness, promotes development, resilience and dramatically reduces burnout and symptoms of post-traumatic stress.

        Dr. David W. Orme-Johnson, a former professor of psychology at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, found that group practice of Maharishi’s Transcendental Meditation and Transcendental Meditation Sidhi programs had profound effects on improving the quality of life in Israel and Lebanon, including reducing armed conflicts, which could not be explained by military, political, and cultural events at the time.

        Other IDT experts argue that Maharishi’s theory of invincible defense is related to this. Once a “prevention wing” of yogic flyers is formed within an army, Maharishi says, “Military power is brought in alliance with the invincible power of natural law, which spontaneously provides safety and security to the government of the universe and eternally defends the sovereign domain of every galaxy and solar system”.

        “There’s no solution to terrorism and tribal conflict except creating coherence in world consciousness and using the IDT, and probably. The evolution of consciousness and the progression of humanity toward peace and tolerance, and away from violence, terrorism, exploitation and discrimination, is natural and ultimately is the only way forward; but faster is better, and IDT/B3R generates prompt results.” Colonel Rees stressed

        Yet, Dr. Orme-Johnson points out that forceful response to conflict increases the problem in Africa. “Fear in the world spurs arms buildup and the development of arms technology, which only causes more fear,” he says. “Disarmament is not realistic because no one can rationally disarm when facing an armed aggressor.”

        Prevention Wings of the African Militaries

        To counteract this fear and promote peace, Dr. Leffler and other scientists at ISTPP are encouraging every country to spend about one percent of the military budget to implement an IDT program that they are calling Prevention Wings of the Military. Soldiers would be given one additional duty: to practice the Transcendental Meditation (TM) program daily in large groups. The theory is that this would result in more peaceful world.

        Qualities of Invincible Defense Technology:

        • Sea-based and/or land-based
        • Non-lethal
        • Non destructive
        • Non partisan
        • Non religious
        • Victory before War

        For his part, Dr. Leffler argued that the ultimate and best step to ensure Africa’s stability would be for the military of each African country to fund, staff and maintain their own Prevention Wing of the Military. Such elite, highly trained units would meditate together using IDT twice daily, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In this manner, their nations would always be fully and safely protected. If this plan could be implemented, Africa would be self-sufficient for both international and domestic security. It would not be necessary for the US or any other outside country to take responsibility for Africa’s stability.

        The Transcendental Meditation Program

        Vedic scholar and physicist Maharishi Mahesh Yogi revived the TM program from the ancient tradition of India. Bob Rabinoff, who has a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Arizona, describes TM as “a simple, easily learned, non-religious meditation practice.” Rabinoff is an independent computer consultant in the Midwest and a teacher of the TM technique. He says that over five million people have learned TM worldwide.

        “Everyone who learns TM is taught the same way throughout the world,” says Rabinoff. Because of this standardization; he believes that, it is possible to study the TM program scientifically. Indeed, the benefits of practicing TM have been well documented. “Over six hundred scientific studies show that the TM technique can measurably reduce stress and increase coherence in the individual,” Rabinoff said

        According to Dr. Leffler, if African militaries deploy Invincible Defense Technology widely, then no country on earth will pose a threat to Africa. On the contrary, economic and social ties with all countries will improve, and Africa will prosper both materially and socially. Likewise, if the US military creates large Prevention Wings at its military bases around the globe, the resulting reductions of crime, terrorism, and war will enable all governments, including those in Africa, to be more successful and harmonious. Every government has a head of state who is only an innocent mirror of the collective consciousness of the society that he or she represents. Prevention Wings will reduce both national and global collective stress, and consequently, leaders of governments will not be stressed and will make more intelligent decisions. America’s domestic security will naturally also benefit, because the tensions currently dividing the American people will melt away when IDT is deployed. Ideally, if Prevention Wings of the Military were established worldwide, lasting peace would be achieved by preventing the rise of enemies: victory before war.

        “If Africa wants to create internal harmony among its people and to prevent negative foreign influences, and help people in poverty and need on every level of society. TM increases the creativity and health in individuals and society to help them find solutions.” Dr. Orme-Johnson stressed.

        Many IDT experts think that we always need to establish permanent large coherence creating groups of TM and TM-Sidhi experts of the square root of 1% of the population in every African city and country. They believe that his is best achieved through establishing this program in education. Coherence in collective consciousness will help all other approaches to peace be successful. What we all need is a ground on coherence to work on. TM provides that while other programs may do the work. However, TM is the best friend to all other genuine positive programs in society. It is complementary.

        It seems to be obvious that following the successes of Mozambique’s “Prevention Wing of the Military,” more African countries may or should soon apply this amazing strategy to create the highest ideal of military service. – Invincibility without harm for African military personnel or the Africa nations; and lasting peace for the continent-indeed; victory before war.

        I don’t know if our human minds can ever fully understand the deepest levels of calculus of military interventions in Africa. A more complicated SWOT analysis and evaluating interventions outcome is required.

        Map of Africa. Credit : Dawn News

        Western Powers and Africa

         so-called protection of civilians and counter-terrorism were behind most of foreign military interventions over the past two decades.

        Western powers’ appetite for the dispatch of armed forces to Africa has been increased greatly in the twenty-first century. The so-called protection of civilians and counter-terrorism were behind most of foreign military interventions over the past two decades.

        Unfortunately, these interventions in the continent have not changed anything. In fact, they worsened the situation in the continent as it has become more complicated in places like Somalia, Central African Republic [CAR], Democratic Republic of Congo [DRC] and Libya, particularly.

        Same Mistake Every Time

        Mali and CAR are almost in the same way as Libya, Afghanistan and Iraq. Western powers have been committing the same mistake every single time they kick off a military intervention in Africa since their intervention in Somalia.

        Perhaps, just like me, you have been wondering how Western powers evaluate their calculus and decisions with their African partners when it comes to any military intervention in the continent. How do their policy makers understand their SWOT analyses?

        Probably their policy makers think that each military intervention is taking place in a state similar to each other or looks like a western model at least. This kind of thinking has led Western powers into failed combats. Somalia, Libya, Mali and CAR were and are all failed states – or rather, these states have become less good than my African father’s corral.

        Take a look at CAR now, despite strong support to the French mission; the power vacuum occurring in Mali has occurred equally in CAR or even worst – the country has become deeply divided by violence between Western Christians and Eastern Muslims. The latest battle north of Bambari last month has proved to us that the country is still in chaos. One in four has fled their homes in CAR and the past week has been outstanding for Bambari. What is more, hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children are sill displaced. But is this the correction for which we’ve been waiting?

        Despite many military interventions in the continent to battle the increased terror threats or protect civilians, little is known about the effects of military interventions in Africa. Military interventions in Somalia in 1992 marked the emergence of an episode that had previously received little analytical attention in the continent.

        Foreign military interventions for the proclaimed objective of saving lives of civilians or helping the local population to survive the ruthlessness of armed men and terrorists were not a fledgling coincidence as shown by interventions in Rwanda, Libya and CAR in the ensuing years.

        There are a million reasons to believe that humanitarian interventions in Africa will continue in the future as long as Western Sahara still lacks peace as we all know that the next very horrifying danger is coming from there – humanitarian crises will continue to arise, hence I expect a number of national and global militaries maintain the capacity to respond.

        Although, military and security solutions may finally represent an inevitable choice in the African reality, however, they reflect the failure of preventive measures such as mediation and negotiations. I am not trying to suggest that we should negotiate with all radical groups and terrorists. However, we have no choice and it is my candid opinion that we sit down with rebels/terrorists and negotiate sometimes.

        What is negotiation and why do we need it? Surely these kinds of questions should not be asked by military strategists, but should be in the mind of young foreign policy makers when thinking about going to war and ending it as it’s been said that “It is easier to start a war than to end it.”

        I wonder if French policy makers had deeply thought of the outcomes of the military interventions in Mali and CAR? It is obvious that France does not have the military and intelligence abilities required for a long counter- disorder or terrorism war in Africa and it does not possess the domestic economic engine needed to sponsor a decade-long war.

        In Mali for instance, we have seen the mediation of Burkina Faso President Blaise Compaoré with Tuareg rebels ended in 2012 throughout an abject failure, where the radical Islamic groups such as Ansar al-Din, Tawhid and Jihad and al-Qaeda in the Arab Maghreb took over northern Mali and declared their silly independent state of Azawad.

        So far, France repeated exactly the same mistakes made by the US in 2003 in Iraq. After the seizure of Timbuktu on January 29, 2013, French President, François Hollande declared: “We (France, Chad and Mali) are in the process of winning the battle.” This naivety and lack of foresight were followed by the declaration of the Defense minister of France, Jean-Yves le Drian, thus: “The mission is fulfilled.”

        This funny scenario looks too much like the 2003 mission accomplished speech by former US President George W. Bush after the fall of the Saddam Hussein’s regime in Iraq, but look at these countries now after that arrogant declaration. Currently, these countries are nothing, but failed states and strongholds of terrorists. These French and American temperamental behaviors only functioned as a guideline for future actions for the spread of terrorism, thus reminding the world of their status of dominant powers. Any expert would agree that the war in Libya, Mali and CAR is far from being won. The war might just be a tool to please public opinion at home or challenge China abroad.

        ChinAfrique?

        In the case of Libya, more than five years after Gaddafi fell, Libya is on the brink – just forget about the political landscape and portrait the security implications in the region for a moment – the country has become a magnet for radical militants who receive weapons training in terrorist camps before launching deadly attacks in other countries across the Sahara and Sahel.

        The terrorist groups’ immediate goal is to create a new caliphate in Libya or around the Sahara as it has become a safe haven for them. If no quick solution for Libya is found, terrorism activities will spread in the region and the whole world. The current attack on the Christians of Sinai/Egypt last week is another consequence of the chaos in Libya.  During Gaddafi, Libya was a bulwark against the terrorist groups spreading in the Sahara and Sahel strip, but the balance of power in that region has been upset, creating a dangerous threat that a new terror state will rise in the border lines due to the terrorism expansion therein.

        In an interview with a Chadian army colonel who spoke on condition of anonymity, he told me that the intervention in Libya was definitely great for terrorists as they thrive in conditions of chaos. Muammar Gaddafi was making strong overtures against them. The truth that many people do not know about Gaddafi is that he spent billions of dollars in counter-terrorism and stopped terrorists from going to the Middle East and Europe.

        He was like a security belt for Africa and the whole world. Chad is the most country affected by the chaos in Libya. The situation in Libya has gone from bad to worse and is horrific in many dimensions. “I am not a politician, but the future doesn’t look much brighter there,” the Chadian Colonel said.

        Many African leaders including Chad’s President Idriss Deby have condemned the international community for its interventions in Africa. Deby argues that the crises engulfing the continent come from outside and not within Africa itself. “Gaddafi is dead and has left Libya to armed groups. Africa must now bear the consequences of this chaos,” said Deby in an interview with DW.

        He said Europe must take responsibility for the fact that formerly peaceful countries are being terrorized by the Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram. According to Deby the arms come from Libya and Boko Haram fighters were also trained there after Gaddafi’s death.

        It’s obvious that there is still a huge gap between the international community and these African leaders as they criticize the international community for its military intervention in Libya in 2011, in which Gaddafi was killed. Deby argued that France played a leading role in the deployment. Today, Africa must bear the consequences of the intervention. “But the African continent has never asked to fight against Libya,” Deby stressed.

        Senegal’s president Macky Sall also told the French minister of defense, Yves le Drian during the closing session of the Dakar International forum on peace and security in Africa in 2014 that NATO’s intervention in Libya led to the assassination of Gaddafi and the destruction of Libya, but then left Africa to clean up the mess. “There was no after-sales service,” he added.

        Perhaps, just like me, you have been wondering why American troops engaged in lengthy conflicts that have not been able to get out of it for more than a decade such as Afghanistan and Iraq, while French forces were able to finish the operation quickly in Libya and Mali, regardless of the outcome of the military interventions. Thus, there is no reason to believe that the result will probably be different in CAR in the future.

        Recently, the French government has establishment a 3,000-strong counterterrorism force across the Sahel region under the name of Barkhane Operation, starting in August 2014, with its headquarter in N’Djamena, Chad and its forces present in Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger and Mauritania and such a step demonstrates the long-term involvement of France in the Sahel region.

        More than two years later the Sahel is nothing, but a drought-prone region of the continent and Africa still hasn’t forgiven France, Britain and the United States for their military intervention in Libya.

        Numerous current studies clearly indicate that outside military interventions tend to lengthen the expected duration of civil wars, making the hostilities more bloodier and longer, consequently, more serious regional disaster, hence if we look back at Somalia, Libya and CAR or even Iraq,  foreign military interventions in these countries are nothing, but just disastrous failures.

        What then are the solutions?

        I am not an expert in security as I don’t have a wealth of information on security matters. However, much of the empirical literature suggest incorporate mediations as the crucial importance to resolving the strategic problems that fragile states and civil war parties face.

        As I am digging for solutions, I was not really surprised by Mr. Chuck Hagel, the former US Secretary of Defense when he claimed in August 2011, by discussing the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq: “We’ve got to get out of those wars. Let the people [Afghan and Iraqi people] decide what they want. If they don’t want what we wanted for them, or if they certainly don’t want what we wanted for them as much as we want it, then we can’t control that.”

        This point might be very interesting for a military strategist to think this way. At first glance, it sounded to me like hell, yeah – this is the only solution for the construction of a viable Malian state and for the ones in CAR and Libya or even in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, here are the real questions: Is it the desire of local populations in Africa to commit genocide? Or to be killed by the Bats of darkness– the so called terrorists?

        No sir. At this moment the answer is absolutely not to let the people decide what they want, but you’ve got to get out of those wars anyway.

        Why shouldn’t the international community let the people of conflict-affected areas choose what they want? It is a misconception that education and economic solutions are not immediately critical solution for this dilemma. We all know that most of the people live in conflict-affected areas are poor, not educated and face the lack of national identity as well as the limited allegiance to a centralize source of power, these are the challenges to success peace, sovereignty and integration.

        Tribal warfare and religious variable – or the so-called Islamic radicalism is the element of the complexity of conflicts in the contemporary reality of Africa. Therefore, African governments have resorted to the use of security and military solutions to confront and resolve these conflicts, rather than diplomatic techniques and strategic games.

        Even though the U.N. Security Council could be the preferred authorizing body for military interventions according to the U.N. Charter, however, the African Union and sub-regional organizations should be legitimate authorizers in resolving armed conflicts in Africa because I deeply believe that regional and sub-regional African organizations have the right moral, cultural and political ability to resolve armed conflicts in the continent. Nevertheless, we cannot depend only on Africa and the ideal situation would be at all three levels – the international, regional and sub-regional actors to be focused and in agreement on actions that have to be taken.

        In connection with this, my argument is based on the experiment of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) tactics in Gambia that served as a model according to ECOWAS Article 58 of its revised treaty relating to regional security which justifies interventions. We have seen an amazing combination of muscle and diplomacy that forced Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to cede power last month to challenger Adama Barrow who won the nation’s general election.

        Don’t you think that this is the right calculus that our new generation dreams of?

        It has perhaps, never been more important to wonder about the best steps to take in ensuring Africa’s stability. In an exclusive interview with Dr. David R. Leffler, Invincible Defense Technology Expert, he argues that the ultimate and best step to ensure Africa’s stability would be for the military of each African country to fund, staff and maintain their own Prevention Wing of the Military. Such elite, highly trained units would meditate together using IDT twice daily, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In this manner, their nations would always be fully and safely protected. If this plan could be implemented, Africa would be self-sufficient for both international and domestic security. It would not be necessary for the US or any other outside country to take responsibility for Africa’s stability.

        In addition to using invincible defense technology, various studies have confirmed that diplomacy is conclusive for understanding the duration of civil conflicts or any domestic stress. They find that mediation has a spectacular effect on the expected duration of a civil war or any domestic stress and that when controlling for diplomatic efforts, economic interventions can also play a crucial role. Therefore, there are important and need to re-examine history in understanding conflicts as well as academic attention is urgently needed instead of military interventions.

        But hang on a minute: does one plus one equal one?

        About the Author

        Idriss Zackaria is an international reporter, editor, and specialist in international media and strategic communications, with an emphasis on support for independent journalism in emerging democracies and communications campaigns for international development. His previous role has been the coordination of all aspects of local and international media based in Istanbul and Cairo.

        His time in Africa and the Middle East has seen him plan, implement, evaluate and report on programs that provide both journalistic, media marketing and acquisitions for sustainable local development.

        He is currently based in Chad writes mainly for international media on Middle Eastern and African politics, human rights, political risk, security risk management, African economies and media ethics.

        Zackaria has completed a Bachelor of Arts in mass communication, and holds a master’s degree in political sciences and public administration.