Your SlideShare is downloading. ×
Preventing conflict and promoting peace and security within nepad and the african union – some preliminary comments
Upcoming SlideShare
Loading in...5

Thanks for flagging this SlideShare!

Oops! An error has occurred.

Saving this for later? Get the SlideShare app to save on your phone or tablet. Read anywhere, anytime – even offline.
Text the download link to your phone
Standard text messaging rates apply

Preventing conflict and promoting peace and security within nepad and the african union – some preliminary comments


Published on

Published in: News & Politics

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Total Views
On Slideshare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

Report content
Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

No notes for slide


  • 1. Preventing Conflict and Promoting Peace and Security within NEPAD and the African Union – Some Preliminary Comments 1 By J. ‘Kayode Fayemi2 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,1994I have been asked to make my intervention on the peace and security clusters of theNEPAD 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 wide-ranging vision for promoting good governance, conflict prevention, fair trade, debtrepayment, and poverty reduction. However, it is also important to question the neo-liberal orthodoxy that has informed NEPAD whilst arguing for its grounding inhistorical context. My presentation therefore examines the peace and security clusterof NEPAD 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 visionis 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.1 Being paper prepared for presentation at the CDD Seminar on NEPAD: Challenges and Prospectsheld at the Royal Commonwealth Club, London in June 2002.2 Kayode Fayemi is Director of the Centre for Democracy & Development; Lagos and London. 1
  • 2. 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, the documentclearly exhibits a limited understanding of the linkage between governance, securityand development. A closer reading of the four key areas for policy intervention in thedocument – a) Development of early warning systems; (b) Post conflict reconstructionand development, including disarmament, demobilisation and rehabilitation; c) Actionto curb the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and lightweapons on the continent and d) promotion of peace support operations – reveals thislink to be tenuous and superficial with very little attention paid to a holistic peacebuilding and human security approach to development. The March 2002 meeting ofthe HSIC developed this cluster in a more comprehensive manner by adding four keyaspects – namely, 1) Support of efforts to promote democracy, good governance andrespect for human rights through appropriate policy and institutional reforms; (2)Enhancement of capacity to conduct thorough and inclusive strategic assessments ofsituations in regions affected by conflict, (3) Resource mobilisation for the AfricanUnion Peace Fund and finally, the HSIC summit also pushed for the ratification of theOAU Convention on Combating Terrorism as a means of addressing the regionaldimension of this problem. The March 2002 meeting equally addressed another critical cog in the wheelof operationalising 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 thatextensive 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 to 2
  • 3. the 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 and ought to be the critical scaffolding for the implementation of theNEPAD agenda. 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 those following these debates by African leaders in their quest topromote NEPAD. Yet while it is now accepted that efforts to address Africa’s violentconflicts must be linked to wider democratisation and sustained development efforts,the challenge remains how to translate this new understanding into specific policiesand how to ensure effective implementation of these policies through the promotionof the core values contained in them. This is even more so within the context of aNew Partnership for Africa’s Development that is keen to promote certain core values 3
  • 4. that are subject to monitorable benchmarks at a time that these values are notsubscribed to on a continental basis. 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. 4
  • 5. • 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;• 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 2001).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 crimeIn short, the nature of conflict and politics in Africa was in essence redefined by thepeculiar context of the 1990s and the nature of partnership between Africa and itsdevelopment 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 of 5
  • 6. violent conflicts through political processes; and 4) collective security for all Africanstates. At the heart of this conflict prevention agenda is the transformation of Africa’ssecurity establishments. Until recently, the mantra among donors is to emphasise cost-cutting approach to dealing with security sector problems. However, the solutionsrequired are first and foremost political in nature and this relates essentially to thedeepening of democracy on the continent in order to prevent conflict. To achieve thispolitical consensus, governance in the security sector which treats security actors asstakeholders in processes of democratisation and administrative reform is central,both in terms of long term containment of conflict and in terms of democraticconsolidation. The appropriate framework for achieving governance in the securitysector is human security. Yet, if human security provides the framework, regionalismis the basic institutional scaffolding that Africans should pay particular attention tosince the gains of a human security approach are best realised within a regionalcontext, hence the importance of NEPAD 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 inviolable, states that have ceased to function as states inthe traditional sense of providing basic needs for the citizens still enjoy support andassistance in development circles even when it is known that these states are nothingbut privatised entities. Even when regional and sub-regional mechanisms put in placeby Africans have developed autonomous capacity to handle local conflicts in spite ofthe inherent challenges of regionalism, the critical issue for NEPAD remains how bestto address the legacy of the Westphalia logic of sovereignty as well as moving awayfrom the regionalism of leaders in which regional integration is only recognised ashappening at the level of leaders with scant regard paid to the rising regionalconsciousness at the level of the citizens and addressing the regionalism of institutionsin which several institutions are created, primarily ion name only with little or nocapacity to manage them. It is only when regionalism is taken seriously as a responseto globalisation that Africans can define a new relationship with the Internationalcommunity. 6
  • 7. The institutional and operational suggestions above will only have meaning ifit permeates the realities of the ordinary citizens. Although NEPAD acknowledges thefact 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 povertyis more to blame for conflict, it is important to take a far more complex view of thecauses 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 anddemocratic consolidation in Africa today and, at the broadest level, globalisation isresulting in deep polarisation between rich and poor throughout the continent.Whereas quantitative accounts of the problems do not always tell the whole story,even the available statistics for the African continent paint a gory picture – especiallyin terms of the link between globalisation and conflict and the impact of conflict onpoverty on the continent. Acknowledging the fact that an exclusive focus on the nation state hasprevented an understanding of region 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 then 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 African Unionsummit in Durban, South Africa, it is important to acknowledge that Africa’s violentconflicts 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 on the continent. Developing more ‘home grown’approaches will require donors to relinquish greater responsibility to Africa’s leaders 7
  • 8. and their people. Given the different trajectories that we have seen on the continent, itis important to develop a typology of African states in the post cold war transitionsdecade in order to avoid the broad-brush strategies that did not work in the 1980s.It is possible to identify in this context at least five categories of African statesranging from progress to stasis, and in a few cases reversal, and requiring differentresponses from NEPAD strategists and development partners. It is possible to talk of1) Consolidating states – South Africa, Botswana, Mauritius, Ghana, Senegal, Benin;2) Semi, Virtual or proforma democracies in transition – Nigeria, Kenya, Tanzania 3)States in Conflict or emerging out of conflict – Sierra Leone, DRC, Liberia, Eritrea,Rwanda, Burundi; 4) States in relapse or remilitarisation – Zimbabwe, Togo, GuineaBissau, Madagascar and; 5) Authoritarian States or States that have collapsed –Somalia. I have identified issues that are common to all the states in question belowand why it is important to respond to them differently, even if they are treated in acontinuum. Ultimately, my argument is that given the “glocal” nature of the conflictsafflicting many of the states, state rebuilding can only be reinforced in the context ofregional integration supported by global partnership. Equally, by arguing for anadoption of a peacebuilding approach to national security, this should result in anassessment of each country’s security environment with a view to evaluating thestructures, roles and missions of the peacebuilding process and the securityestablishments.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 of 8
  • 9. conflict – 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 whereconditions 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, an increase in criminality and a re-ignition of 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 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 the 9
  • 10. expense 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 ofsecurity and the objective security threats that each country faces. For example, itseems to me unrealistic to impose conditionality like automatic demobilisation on astate like Rwanda with implacable neighbours like Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda,Tanzania and Congo coming from the context of genocide. Especially in post conflictsituations, this realization should inform international attitudes towards security sectortransformation on the one hand, and post conflict reconstruction on the other. 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 important in the context of recent claims thatNEPAD 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 this 10
  • 11. end, some questions might suffice in any consideration of complex political situationsrather than focusing exclusively on state monopoly of means of coercion. This is notto suggest that states do not have legitimate needs for security which mightnecessitate legitimate procurement and monopoly of means of coercion, but this hasto be 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, thecommitment to the mutually reinforcing interaction between the values of democracy,equity and sustainability still remain subordinate to the core need for macro-economicstability, regime security and integration into the international political economy inthe NEPAD document. This is why many are still suspicious of the African leadersand their development partners’ commitment to a human security approach in spite ofthe new rhetoric about local ownership and social capital.Promoting social coherence through civil society development and multi-culturaltolerance 11
  • 12. If peace-building is taken as the sum total of activities that will support peace makingand conflict transformation: demobilisation, re-structuring of the local security system– police and the military; resettlement of refugees and the internally displacedpersons; removal of dangerous weapons – mines and other unexploded firearms,reconstruction of shattered infrastructure and humanitarian and disaster relief – veryfew still advocate that this could be done with the exclusion of civil society. Indeed,even African leaders and international development agencies now see civil society askey to the successful implementation of these various aspects of post-conflict peacebuilding process. In discussing rights based approach to governance and securitysector transformation, local ownership and development of social capital rests withthe civil society, but it is important to place this within the context of developinginstitutional mechanisms for the management of diversity and difference andincorporating international human rights framework into domestic law. Hence, therights of the people to their resources should not be compromised at the altar ofencouraging 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 militarised mindthrough the creation of structures capable of mediating conflict between belligerentparties. Perhaps, an explanation of this construction is necessary here. It is suggestedthat the military option now prevalent in several parts of the African continent is theinevitable consequence of the acute nature of internal contradictions and the almosttotal absence of democratic institutions that can assist 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 alternative 12
  • 13. vision 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 constitutionalisingdemocratising 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 done 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 behaviour 13
  • 14. of some of African leaders and their total contempt for some of the supposed valuesto which they have committed themselves. In spite of this general scepticism,constitutionalism as a social compact remains the best route for forging the kind ofvalue system and reorientation that can deepen our democracy in order to preventconflict and build peace.Building assets that provide security against disasters and economic shocksConventionally, the way most development agencies have promoted the building ofassets against disasters and economic shocks has been to focus on macro-economicstability strategies like Structural adjustment reforms, electoral democracies andsupport of measures that seek to provide the enabling environment for foreign directinvestment and the global integration of the economy – a mutual pursuit of politicaland economic liberalisation. This is the fundamental principle guiding the NEPADdocument. So far, the logic of trickle down economics has failed to produce anintegrated world economy in which all zones are winners. Indeed, as Caroline Thomasand 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 globalisation 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 convoluted networkin business and government capable of acting independently of the juridical state. Thefallout of this globalising trend is the unregulated trade in mineral resources, 14
  • 15. proliferation of arms and narcotics and the illicit trade in narcotics all of whichultimately undermine food security, environmental security and the security of theindividual – all factors responsible for conflict today. It has also helped in deepeningthe rural-urban divide, fostered inter-generational strife occasioned by youthfrustration and exacerbated the scourge of refugees and the internally displaced, all ofwhich 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 onlywithin 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 providing thebest assets against shocks and disasters, hence leaders and donor agencies must learnfrom 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 stated values and principles.Conclusion: In pursuit of human security and human development in AfricaThere 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, manyfeel that the hype is more than what the eventual product offers. Hence, one can see amajor opposition to the current slow pace of democratic and economic development.Indeed, deepening democratic development remains an uphill task in several Africancountries, especially in the aftermath of the global shock occasioned by the 9/11tragedy in America. There are indications that even the enthusiasm that greeted theNEPAD initiative in the G8 countries has been enveloped in another global shiftwhich is now in favour of despotic peace in place of democratic, even if unsettling,freedom. The greatest challenge of course is to understand that despite the frustrations 15
  • 16. and impatience of the people with this democratic deficit, there is some realisationthat transitions are inherently unstable and unpredictable. It is our hope that the leaders will bear the above in mind as they prepare theAction Plan for this much needed partnership for Africa’s Development – one thatsecures the world and promote peace. Based on the above comments, a number ofmeasures seem to suggest themselves to us about how best to take the NEPAD Peaceand Security clusters forward in the context of the new African Union, especially indeveloping a human 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 human security 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 by adopting 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;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 peace-building strategies 16
  • 17. 6. 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. 17
  • 18. REFERENCESBuzan, B. et al. 1998. Security: A New Framework for Analysis. Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner.CODEP, 2000. Report on the outcomes of the consultation on globalisation and conflict for the White Paper on International Development: Globalisation & Development. London, June 2000.DFID, 2000. Security Sector Reform and the Management of Military Expenditure: Risks for Donors, High Returns for Development, Report on an International Symposium, February 14-16, 2000.Fayemi, J.K. 2000. “Security Challenges in Africa”, Seminar: Indian Journal of Opinion, Special Issue on African Transitions 490, June 2000.Hutchful, E. 2001. Contribution to the ALF Project on Security and Demilitarisation in Africa. Mimeo. December 2001.Martin, B. 2000. New Leaf or Fig Leaf? The Challenge of the New Washington Consensus. Report prepared for Bretton Woods Project and Public Service International.NEPAD Strategy Document – www.nepad.orgThomas, C. & P. Wilkin (eds.) 1998. Globalisation, Human Security & the African Experience, Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner.UNDP, Human Development Report 1994. 18