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Preventing Conflict and Promoting Peace and Security Within NEPAD and the African Union – Some Comments

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  • 1. Preventing Conflict and Promoting Peace and Security within NEPAD and the African Union – Some Comments1 By J. ‘Kayode Fayemi, Ph.D, Centre for Democracy & Development “For most people today, a feeling of insecurity arises more from worries about the daily life than from the dread of a cataclysmic world event. Job security, income security, health security, environmental security, security from crime, these are the emerging concerns of human security all over the world.” UNDP, Human Development Report, 1994 I have been asked to make my intervention on the peace and security clustersof the NEPAD document, focusing on the operational challenges and prospects for itsrealisation. I would like to start by prefacing my presentation with a general comment.There are many reasons why Africans should be enthusiastic about NEPAD’s wideranging vision for promoting good governance, conflict prevention, fair trade, debtissue and poverty reduction. However, it is also important to question the neo-liberalorthodoxy that has informed NEPAD whilst arguing for its grounding in historicalcontext. My presentation therefore examines the peace and security cluster ofNEPAD within the framework of the entire NEPAD Strategy document, highlightwhat I consider to be good aspects of the cluster, providing a critical perspective of itsoverarching order whilst emphasising the need for African ownership of the processand products of NEPAD, especially in the context of a newly established AfricanUnion (AU). In this context, my own view is that the official promoters of NEPADmust recognise the need for genuine partnership with the African people if the vision1 Being paper prepared for presentation at the CDD Seminar on NEPAD: Challenges and Prospectsheld at the Royal Commonwealth Club, London in June 2002. 1
  • 2. is to be translated into concrete initiatives, since the people have so far played little orno part in NEPAD’s conception, design and formulation so far. Whilst the original NEPAD document released after the October 2001 meetingof its Heads of State Implementation Committee (HSIC) in Abuja recognised thecentrality of peace and security to Africa’s development agenda. By also stressing theimportance of governance to the development and security agenda, the NEPADdocument also attempts a holistic understanding of the linkage between governance,security and development. Yet a deeper reading of the four key areas for policyintervention in the document – a) Development of early warning systems; (b) Postconflict reconstruction and development, including disarmament, demobilisation andrehabilitation; c) Action to curb the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking ofsmall arms and light weapons on the continent and d) promotion of peace supportoperations - reveals this link to be tenuous and superficial with very little attentionpaid to a holistic peace building and human security approach to development. TheMarch 2002 meeting of the HSIC developed this cluster in a more comprehensivemanner by adding four key aspects – namely, 1) Support efforts to promotedemocracy, good governance and respect for human rights through appropriate policyand institutional reforms; (2) Enhance capacity to conduct thorough inclusive strategicassessments of situations in regions affected by conflict, (3) Resource mobilisation forthe African Union Peace Fund and finally, the HSIC summit also pushed for theratification of the OAU Convention on Combating Terrorism as a means ofaddressing the regional dimension of this problem. The March 2002 meeting also addressed another critical cog in the wheel ofoperationalising the peace and security cluster by acknowledging the unclearrelationship between NEPAD and the OAU Secretariat, especially the ConflictManagement Centre charged with the responsibilities for operationalising theMechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution as well as therelationship between the peace and security clusters of NEPAD and the security andstability calabashes of the Conference on Security, Stability Development andCooperation in Africa (CSSDCA), already incorporated into the OAU since itsadoption at the Lome Summit of 1999. Also the relationship between RegionalEconomic Communities(RECS) and NEPAD in the promotion of peace and securityalso received some attention at the March meeting. I should state at this point that 2
  • 3. extensive work has been done on the NEPAD document and the revised CentralOrgan document of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention, Management andResolution by a Committee of OAU Ambassadors with a group of experts leading tothe recommendation to consolidate both aspects into the work of a new organ of theAfrican Union to be known as the Peace and Security Council. In my view, the most critical addition to the list of priority areas by the HSICat their March 2002 meeting were those underscoring the need to promote democracy,good governance and respect for human rights through appropriate policy andinstitutional reforms. Although this was an assumption that runs through the entireNEPAD document, stating it explicitly as a priority area elaborates on the purpose,object, and the mechanisms for the attainment of security and peace and moves thepeace and security cluster away from the traditional, military and state-centric focusof the original priority areas. Democratising security to prevent conflict and buildpeace also captures the very essence of human security and effectively links humansecurity to human development by underscoring the fact that both require democraticgovernance in order to attain peace. This recognition of the need to re-conceptualise‘security’ in a more responsive direction with a move away from the traditionalemphasis on national/state security to a focus on ‘human security’ with an expansionin the scope of the concept from its narrow meaning of (physical security) to includeaccess to the means of life, the provision of essential goods, a clean and sustainableenvironment as well as human rights and democratic freedoms is clearlycommendable. Indeed, the increasing linkage drawn between security and development, onthe one hand rooting insecurity in conditions of underdevelopment, and on the other,the recognition that security is an essential precondition and component ofdevelopment as well as the tendency to see defence and security as both a publicpolicy and governance issue (thus broadening the range of communities andconstituencies that can participate in this formerly restricted area) ought to bewelcome by all following these debates by African leaders in their quest to promoteNEPAD. Yet while it is now accepted that efforts to address Africa’s violent conflictsmust be linked to wider democratisation and sustained development efforts, thechallenge remains how to translate this new understanding into specific policies andhow to ensure effective implementation of these policies through the promotion of thecore values contained in them. This is even more so within the context of a New 3
  • 4. Partnership for Africa’s Development that is keen to promote certain core values at atime that these values are common to all countries and all peoples in the samedegrees. The critical question therefore is to what extent is there a common perceptionof security in Africa and is this common perception articulated and universallyshared? If it is, is it possible to identify the underlying consensus and the commonvalue systems in them. A cursory glance points to continuing tension between a‘national security’ – nation building approach and a ‘human security’ – peace buildingapproach, yet there need not be a Manichean divide between the two. Yet, when acountry goes for one approach or the other, the values promoted are dissimilar. It istherefore important to understand the causes and nature of conflicts in Africa in orderto know the values of security to be promoted on a regional, national and local basis.Understanding the Causes, Nature and Context of Conflict in AfricaTo understand the causes and nature of violent conflict, perhaps the most importanttask is to examine in a more nuanced manner the historic roots and contemporarytrajectories of Africa’s violent conflicts and to move away from simplisticinterpretation of causes based on notions such as ‘greed’, ‘poverty’, or ‘ethnicity’.Africa’s conflicts share a common backdrop of economic stagnation and falteringdemocratic rule that undermined state capacity and legitimacy in the 1980s. Yet eachconflict has followed its own trajectory shaped by political and policy choices partlymade by African governments and partly imposed by the international context.Among the most critical elements in understanding the new conflict equation arisingout of the 1990s political transition on the continent are:• The shifts in global and geopolitical power relations; in particular the end of the cold war and the withdrawal of the metropolitan security umbrella which paved the way for serious challenges to some client regimes in a manner previously considered impossible.• With the demise of universalistic ideological battle between socialism and capitalism, new forms of conflict emerged in the form of identity issues anchored on religion and ethnicity in particular.• The withdrawal of assistance by big states also resulted in the search for new forms of sustenance leading to the exploitation of resources and criminal activity; 4
  • 5. • Increasing availability and privatisation of instruments of violence, transforming the military balance between the state and society.(A recent survey indicates that the permanent members of the Security Council were together responsible for 81% of world arms exports from 1996 – 2000. The G8 nations sold 87% of total arms exports to the entire world. US’ share of that is over 50 per cent and 68% of arms supplied to the developing world comes from the United States.)• New forms of violent and trans-national crime.(Hutchful:2002)Yet in this context of internal cleavages and external fuelling of conflicts, one couldalmost reach the flawed conclusion that the 1980s was a period of unbridled peace.The truth is however more complex that this. Examined critically, the most importantlesson of the 1990s conflict in Africa is that the 1980s laid a solid basis for themthrough the severe economic and fiscal compression exemplified by the structuraladjustment shocks of the period. It is no longer in doubt that the erosion of socialcapital, political legitimacy and institutional weakening of many African states can bedirectly linked to the policy choices that informed governance during this period. - Decomposition of the security sector was a key component of this state collapse. - Equally, the State lost its central relevance due to the SAP’s agenda to retrench it from basic services’ provision to the citizens; - State militarism largely driven by the authoritarian culture which was so widespread in the 1980s laid the basis for the new and more deadly societal militarism represented by the warlords of the 1990s and the violent nature of crime In short, the nature of conflict and politics in Africa was in essence redefinedby the peculiar context of the 1990s and the nature of partnership between Africa andits development partners. Addressing violent conflicts in Africa therefore requiresbroadening the notions of security and developing multi-faceted responses. Fourpillars of peace and security ought to form the core of this agenda: 1) human securityas the bedrock for peace; 2) democracy and open governance; 3) transformation ofviolent conflicts through political processes; and 4) collective security for all Africanstates. 5
  • 6. At the heart of this conflict prevention agenda is the transformation of Africa’ssecurity establishments. Until recently, the mantra among donors is to emphasisecost-cutting approach to dealing with security sector problems. However, thesolutions required are first and foremost political in nature and this relates essentiallyto the deepening of democracy on the continent. To achieve this political consensus,governance in the security sector which treats security actors as stakeholders inprocesses of democratisation and administrative reform is central, both in terms oflong term containment of conflict and in terms of democratic consolidation. Theappropriate framework for achieving governance in the security sector is humansecurity. Yet, if conflict provides the framework, regionalism is the basic institutionalscaffolding that Africans should pay particular attention to since the gains of a humansecurity approach are best realised within a regional context, hence the importance ofNEPAD in the context of the new African Union. Although regionalism has taken a much firmer root in Africa, crownedrecently by the launch of NEPAD, regionalism still faces a critical problem ofentrenchment in a region where efforts to build homogenous nation-states on the basisof artificially constructed boundaries have resulted in forced unity through thepromotion of the principle of “non-interference”. Since sovereignty of the nation-stateis regarded as sacrosanct and non-derogable, states that have ceased to function asstates in the traditional sense of providing basic needs for the citizens still enjoysupport and assistance in development circles even when it is known that these statesare nothing but privatised entities. Even when regional and sub-regional mechanismsput in place by Africans have developed autonomous capacity to handle localconflicts in spite of the inherent challenges of regionalism, the critical issue forNEPAD remains how best to address the legacy of the westphalian logic ofsovereignty as well as moving away from the regionalism of leaders in which regionalintegration is only recognised as happening at the level of leaders with scant regardpaid to the rising regional consciousness at the level of the citizens and addressing theregionalism of institutions in which several institutions are created, primarily ionname only with little or no capacity to manage them. It is only when regionalism istaken seriously as a response to globalisation that Africans can define a newrelationship with the International community. The institutional and operational suggestions above will only have meaning ifit permeates the realities of the ordinary citizens. Although NEPAD acknowledges the 6
  • 7. fact that poor people rate insecurity as a key cause of poverty, it seems clear that theevidence for seeing poverty as a cause of armed conflict is generally weak in Africa.The most poverty stricken parts of the continent are clearly not the most conflictridden. Yet, while it is true that inequality or relative deprivation rather than povertyas in absolute deprivation is more to blame for conflict, it is important to take a farmore complex view of the causes of conflict in their economic, political,environmental and cultural dimensions. Clearly, poverty – as exemplified by the inequality arising out of unfairsharing of global opportunities - remains the greatest threat to security and democraticconsolidation in Africa today and, at the broadest level, globalisation is resulting indeep polarisation between rich and poor throughout the continent. Whereasquantitative accounts of the problems do not always tell the whole story, even theavailable statistics for the African continent paint a gory picture – especially in termsof the impact of conflict on poverty on the continent. Acknowledging the fact that an exclusive focus on the nation state hasprevented an understanding of regional specific determinants in the poverty-security-development complex might help NEPAD promoters to address some of the policyissues and possibilities that can make a difference. Having secured an understandingof the nature and context of conflict on the continent, what are the prospects foraddressing the challenges and what should NEPAD leaders and actors do?Prospects for addressing current challenges? For a start, as we move towards the G8 summit in Canada and the first AfricanUnion summit in Durban, South Africa, it is important to acknowledge that Africa’sviolent conflicts and security problems can only be resolved through genuine globalpartnership. The 1980s were a testament to the dangers of ‘broad brush’ approaches,characterised by the external imposition of macro-economic stabilisation andstructural adjustment programmes that were sufficiently inflexible to account for thediversity of circumstances and need. Developing more ‘home grown’ approaches willrequire donors to relinquish greater responsibility to Africa’s leaders and their people.Given the different trajectories that we have seen on the continent, it is important todevelop a typology of African states in the post cold war transitions decade in order to 7
  • 8. avoid the broad-brush strategies that did not work in the 1980s. It is possible toidentify in this context at least five categories of African states ranging from progressto stasis, and in a few cases reversal, and requiring different responses fromdevelopment partners. It is possible to talk of 1) Consolidating states – South Africa,Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, Benin; 2) Semi, Virtual or proforma democracies intransition – Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire; 3) States in Conflict oremerging out of conflict – Sierra Leone, DRC, Liberia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Burundi; 4)States in relapse or remilitarisation – Zimbabwe, Togo, Guinea Bissau, Madagascarand; 5) Authoritarian States or States that have collapsed – Somalia. I have identifiedissues that are common to all the states in question below and why it is important torespond to them differently, even if they are treated in a continuum. Ultimately, myargument is that given the ‘glocal’ nature of the conflicts afflicting many of the states,state rebuilding can only be reinforced in the context of regional integration supportedby global partnership. Equally, by arguing for an adoption of a peacebuildingapproach to national security, this should result in an assessment of each country’ssecurity environment with a view to evaluating the structures, roles and missions ofthe different security forces.Support for peace building and reconstruction: State rebuilding after state collapseoften requires a strong support for peace building and reconstruction measures. Peacein this context has often been interpreted as mere absence of war and state rebuildingis often seen only in terms of physical reconstruction. While physical reconstructionmay be a necessary departure point for state rebuilding, the defining characteristic ofstate rebuilding from a human security approach is the presence of holistic securityand a model of conflict management, which emphasises the fundamentals of militarysecurity, democratisation and consensus building, development, economic reform,human rights and human dignity for the citizens to engage their rulers. Therefore, although the conventional wisdom is to ignore it, the securityrequired in the immediate aftermath of conflict might also require higher rather thanlower security expenditure to enable the state and citizens cope with the impact ofconflict – rehabilitating refugees and the internally displaced, providing for a secure,safe and enabling environment in which development initiatives can succeed andreintegrating former combatants into society and economy. In situations where 8
  • 9. conditions of poverty prevail after post war conflict, it is reasonable to predict acorrelation between the lack of development opportunities in terms of direct incomegeneration to survivors and an increase in criminality and conflict. For policy makers, especially international donors who just want to “move themoney” because of the domestic pressure from disaster management and reliefagencies, there is always the pressing need to construe their role in terms ofimmediate restoration of peace and stability, rather than security and developmentthrough the promotion of common values and the rule of law. The concentration onelections and elections monitoring in say Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in recenttimes gave an impression that what mattered most was the election, not democracynor a recognition that elections are not enough to guarantee democracy anddevelopment. Experience has since shown that while there are immediate tasks thatmust be addressed in terms of peace building and reconstruction in every conflictsituation – disaster relief and management, repatriation and reintegration of refugeesand reduction in the proliferation of small arms and clearance of explosives, these arenot the most successful ingredients of a successful peace building strategy. To promote sustainable security and peace building strategies therefore –African leaders and international development agencies must take a comprehensivelook at peace building and reconstruction strategies treating them as a continuum withshort term (relief and emergency aid and creating a secure and enabling environment);medium term (peace support operations) and long term (reconstruction, democracy &development) components in an integrated manner. Donor countries should beencouraged to foster greater coherence amongst their own policies at an inter-agencylevel, as well as within their own regional structures (such as EU, OECD, etc). Agood example as we pointed out in the preceding section is the fact that arms salesfrom developed countries is often at variance with the emphasis the same countriesplace on conflict prevention and security sector governance. Equally, in this respect, there is a need for stronger cooperation between theBretton Woods institutions, the UN Systems and other multi and bi-lateraldevelopment agencies as well as independent development institutions to reduce theoverzealous focus on achieving fiscal discipline and macro-economic stability at theexpense of efforts to protect social spending. Donor responses have often involvedconditionalities relating to automatic decreases in military spending and reductions ofmilitary and other security forces with no attention paid to the expensive nature of 9
  • 10. security and the objective security threats that each country faces. Especially in postconflict situations, this realization should inform international attitudes towardssecurity sector transformation on the one hand, and post conflict reconstruction on theother. Third, it is extremely important that international institutions should seize themomentum provided by the weak capacity of the state to align external assistancewith local needs and efforts, not an opportunity to impose received wisdom and newtheories of development. This is extremely important in the context of recent claimsthat NEPAD is Africa owned – a claim that is rejected by many Africans. Where stateinstitutional capacity is weak, an immense burden of responsibility is placed on IFIsand development agencies in which real dialogue with the people and wideconsultations underscore whatever actions are taken. Finally, international donorscannot ignore the international context in their response to peace building andreconstruction efforts. How, for example, has the often convoluted linkage betweentrans-national corporations, proliferation of arms and promotion of neo-liberalglobalising trends by the industrial world undermine the success of security anddevelopment reforms in countries emerging out of conflict, especially within thecontext of an unstable region in which domino effect is real rather than imagined. These are some of the issues that are central to any discussion of the policylever on peace building and reconstruction efforts and the extent to which theguideline document considers them critically would determine the possibilities ofsuccess that might accompany critical intervention.The Challenge of strengthening the territorial state: As has been argued above, thisthinking itself is a product of the state-centric notions of security that dominatedtraditional thinking in the cold war era. Since the state is increasingly seen asunrepresentative and illegitimate in Africa however, are there conditions under whichwar might be seen to be a legitimate means of removing regime types that promoteconflicts and in which leaders have encroached upon common pool resources. To thisend, some questions might suffice in any consideration of complex political situationsrather than focus exclusively on state monopoly of means of coercion. This is not tosuggest that states do not have legitimate needs for security which might necessitatelegitimate procurement and monopoly of means of coercion, but this has to be 10
  • 11. demonstrated to ensure that security is treated as common public good, not justregime good. It may therefore be necessary to consider:• Under which circumstances, if any, is war necessary to remove bad governments? That is how do we distinguish between justifiable rebellion and needless conflict?• How is regional economic and political co-operation built between and among states to address the pathology of militarism?• How can state-centric definitions of security be de-emphasised, and the role of civil society in peace building increased in the quest for common values?• How is democratic control of the military to be built in states undergoing political transition or moving from war to peace – through parliamentary oversight, effective institutions of governance and genuine interaction between the military and the rest of society?Acknowledging the need to ask these questions should help to address some of thepolicy challenges posed for conflict transformation and security sector reform withinthe NEPAD context and subject state monopoly of violence to international andregional checks. Although there is evidence to suggest that African leaders and theirinternational partners now accept the argument about broadening the agenda, but thecommitment to the mutually reinforcing interaction between the values of democracy,equity and sustainability still remain subordinate to the core need for macro-economicstability and integration into the international political economy in the NEPADdocument. This is why many are still suspicious of the African leaders and theirdevelopment partners’ commitment to a human security approach in spite of the newrhetoric about local ownership and social capital.Promoting social coherence through civil society development and multi-culturaltolerance: If peace-building is taken as the sum total of activities that will support peacemaking and conflict transformation: demobilisation, re-structuring of the localsecurity system – police and the military; resettlement of refugees and the internallydisplaced persons; removal of dangerous weapons – mines and other unexplodedfirearms, reconstruction of shattered infrastructure and humanitarian and disaster 11
  • 12. relief – very few still advocate that this could be done with the exclusion of civilsociety. Indeed, even African leaders and international development agencies nowsee civil society as key to the successful implementation of these various aspects ofpost-conflict peace building process. In discussing rights based approach togovernance and security sector transformation, local ownership and development ofsocial capital rests with the civil society, but it is important to place this within thecontext of developing institutional mechanisms for the management of diversity anddifference and incorporating international human rights framework into domestic law.Hence, the rights of the people to their resources should not be compromised at thealtar of encouraging foreign direct investment, especially where this underminesenvironmental security. Since states are usually products of war and rampage, it might sound far-fetched to base the quest for tolerance on the notion of reclaiming the militarisedmind through the creation of structures capable of mediating conflict betweenbelligerent parties. Perhaps, an explanation of this construction is necessary here.It is suggested that the military option now prevalent in several parts of theAfrican continent is the inevitable consequence of the acute nature of internalcontradictions and the almost total absence of democratic institutions that canassist in the management of deep-rooted conflicts. It was assumed in policy and development circles that support for neo-liberaldemocracy will help achieve this objective, hence there was the enthusiasm fordemocracy assistance and ‘good governance’ in the early 1990s and donor countriesmade some efforts to move economic assistance away from former concerns aboutstimulating economic growth to an emphasis on political objectives, including supportfor processes of democratisation and building of civil society. Although the above represented a shift from the days of the super-powerideological rivalry, even this shift in the leadership’s thinking and IFIs’ assistance hasconcentrated primarily on the reform of the public sector and involvement of the ‘civilsociety’ to the extent that it promotes the neo-liberal paradigm, not on an alternativevision of bottom-up reforms driven by societal consensus. The fact that many of thetransitions of the last decade in Africa now approximate to - at best electoraldemocracies and at worst elected dictatorships, has raised new questions on how todeepen the democratic content of current reforms in a process oriented, participatoryand accountable manner. At every level, the idea of constitutionalising 12
  • 13. democratising polities that have largely functioned as ‘virtual’ democracies alongmultifaceted lines is taking shape. Today, the fact that the struggle for reconstituting the African state is takingplace in no fewer than twenty African states in Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe,Cote d’Ivoire, Swaziland and Lesotho, to mention but a few, underscores aparadigmatic shift from constitutionality to constitutionalism, a situation whereconstitutions are now seen as tools for building bridges between the state and civilsociety, a social compact based upon a foundation of consensus among the constituentelements within the polity and between them and the state in the quest for commonvalue systems. What has to be emphasised however for the purpose of NEPAD andhuman security is the importance of an organic link between the constitution as a ruleof law instrument incorporating international human rights framework and primarilyconcerned with restraining government excesses, and the constitution as alegitimisation of power structures and relations based on a broad social consensus andthe values in diverse societies. In short, if NEPAD is to promote the mutuallyreinforcing role of development, security and democracy, the task today is largelybetween bridging the gap between “juristic constitutionalism” and “political andsocio-economic constitutionalism” in the search for common core values if the ‘NewAfrica’ espoused in the NEPAD document is to have meaning and be accountable toits citizens. The core issues around values in NEPAD can only be addressed in the contextof principles and values to which all Africans willingly subscribe. Values ofrepresentation, ownership, accessibility to all levels of government, accountability,openness and collective responsibility. CSSDCA has been doing a lot of work ondeveloping a consensus driven value systems which is what would be the subject ofthe peer review mechanism. NEPAD is also developing a similar mechanism inpreparation for the Durban summit of the African Union. While this is welcome byall, the scepticism that has attended the search for common values to be promotedacross Africa has been informed by the anti-democratic and reprehensible behaviourof some of the leaders who are at the forefront of the NEPAD campaign and their totalcontempt for some of the supposed values to which they have committed themselves.In spite of this general scepticism, constitutionalism as a social compact remains the 13
  • 14. best route for forging the kind of value system and reorientation that can deepen ourdemocracy in order to prevent conflict and build peace.Building assets that provide security against disasters and economic shocks: Conventionally, the way most development agencies have promoted thebuilding of assets against disasters and economic shocks has been to focus on macro-economic stability strategies like Structural adjustment reforms, electoral democraciesand support of measures that seek to provide the enabling environment for foreigndirect investment and the global integration of the economy – a mutual pursuit ofpolitical and economic liberalisation. This is the fundamental principle guiding theNEPAD document. So far, the logic of trickle down economics has failed to producean integrated world economy in which all zones are winners. Indeed, as CarolineThomas and Peter Wilkin argue, In the process of globalisation, the continent (Africa) has quite literally been left behind in terms of the distribution of the spoils of the process. The promised advantages of economic restructuring, as hailed by the IMF, World Bank and individual developed countries, have not been borne out. Foreign investment fails to flow in; debt burdens continue; commodity prices fluctuate; environmental degradation proceeds…and industrialisation fails to occur. (Thomas & Wilkin: 1998).This clearly contradicts the core assumption of globalization that wealth wouldautomatically be created when the free market gains universal acceptance in theworld. By arguing that the way to build assets against shocks is not via the creation oflocal self sufficiency, but national economies should concentrate on what they cancontribute to the world economy, globalisation ignores the comparative advantage ofthe North, locks African states further into relative powerlessness by creatingconditions for conflict which further weakens the mediatory role of the states.Instead, it empowers those elites within the state who can form part of the convolutednetwork in business and government capable of acting independently of the juridicalstate. The fallout of this globalising trend is the unregulated trade in mineral 14
  • 15. resources, proliferation of arms and narcotics and the illicit trade in narcotics all ofwhich ultimately undermine food security, environmental security and the security ofthe individual – all factors responsible for conflict today. It has also helped indeepening the rural-urban divide, fostered inter-generational strife occasioned byyouth frustration and exacerbated the scourge of refugees and the internally displaced,all of which have moved the hapless below the poverty line and moved them closer toviolence and conflict. In my view therefore, the greatest assets against shocks and disastersultimately lie with the development of human resources, better management of naturalresource endowment and respect for local ownership of the reform agenda whether indetermining the role of the State or in arriving at the most effective poverty inducingmechanisms. In fairness, the NEPAD document pays some attention to this, but onltywithin the context of free and unregulated market. Hence, it is also useful to examineand analyse individual situations on their merit, rather than assume that the market isGod. This is of course not to suggest that market has no role in reforming statesstructures. It is to say that there are no universal models of the market as providingthe best assets against shocks and disasters, hence leaders and donor agencies mustlearn from their own experiences of the market, security and public sector reforms informulating realistic policies that are not driven by dogma even as they admit thatcertain assumptions undergird their work based on their State values and principles.Conclusion: In pursuit of human security and human development in Africa There is definitely a sense in which a deep feeling of disillusionment that iswidespread in Africa with the current democratisation and development agendathreatens to undermine the whole campaign that NEPAD has generated. Indeed,many feel that the hype is more than what the eventual product offers. Hence, onecan see a major opposition to the current slow pace of democratic and economicdevelopment. Indeed, deepening democratic development remains an uphill task inseveral African countries, especially in the aftermath of the global shock occasionedby the 9/11 tragedy in America. There are indications that even the enthusiasm thatgreeted the NEPAD initiative in the G8 countries has been enveloped in anotherglobal shift which is now in favour of despotic peace in place of democratic, even if 15
  • 16. unsettling, freedom. The greatest challenge of course is to understand that despite thefrustrations and impatience of the people with this democratic deficit, there is somerealisation that transitions are inherently unstable and unpredictable. It is our hope that the leaders meeting in Kananskis, Canada this June and inDurban next month will bear the above in mind as they prepare the Action Plan forthis much needed partnership for Africa’s Development – one that secures the worldand promote peace. Based on the above comments, a number of measures seem tosuggest themselves to us about how best to take the NEPAD Peace and Securityclusters forward in the context of the new African Union, especially in developing ahuman security approach that promotes human development:1. There is an urgent need for clarification of values and norms subscribed to by Africans and adopted in a widespread manner by the citizens. (ECOWAS Supplementary Protocol on Democracy & Good Governance adopted by the Heads of Government in Dakar in December 2001 is a good example here)2. There is a need for conceptual clarity through a comprehensive approach to security sector reform in policy and development circles – one that recognises that while there is no teleological link between elections and democracy, deepening democracy offers the best chance of preventing violent conflict and building durable peace3. There is a need to recognise the challenge of strengthening regional integration and promote regional mechanisms that can help sustain democratic development and consolidation through the adoption of a regional approach to conflict prevention;4. Policy instruments must recognise the need to reconcile economic and social development and enhance the input of non-state actors – in policy formulation to enhance social capital rather than entrench the leverage of IFIs and donor agencies on States; 16
  • 17. 5. Recognition of legitimate security needs of nation-states must be factored into the human security approach through the promotion of governmental and non- governmental peacebuilding strategies6. Policy instruments must problematise the link between globalisation and conflict, rather than assume that it is always going to be positive in the promotion of pro- poor growth in the search for and implementation of sustainable livelihood and poverty reduction strategies;7. Policy instruments must locate the security agenda within the democracy and development framework and reflect the link between politics and economics, and between security and opportunities;8. There is the need for democratic governance, not just civilian control of military and security establishments in democratising polities;9. Human security approach is a process, whose results will not necessarily be immediate, hence the need for a long term view by interested stakeholders and anti-poverty strategists.REFERENCESBarry Buzan et-al, Security: A New Framework for Analysis, (Boulder, Colorado:Lynne Rienner, 1998).Caroline Thomas & Peter Wilkin (eds), Globalisation, Human Security & the AfricanExperience, (Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner, 1998)CODEP, Report on the outcomes of the consultation on globalisation and conflict forthe White Paper on International Development: Globalisation & Development(London, June 2000) 17
  • 18. DFID, Security Sector Reform and the Management of Military Expenditure: Risks forDonors, High Returns for Development, Report on an International Symposium,February 14-16, 2000.J. ‘Kayode Fayemi, “Security Challenges in Africa”, Seminar: Indian Journal ofOpinion, Special Issue on African Transitions 490, June 2000.E.Hutchful, Contribution to the ALF Project on Security and Demilitarisation inAfrica. Mimeo. December 2001.Brendan Martin, New Leaf or Fig Leaf? The Challenge of the New WashingtonConsensus. Report prepared for Bretton Woods Project and Public ServiceInternational. 2000.NEPAD Strategy Document – www.mapstrategy.org; www.nepad.org.zaUNDP, Human Development Report 1994 18