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The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively
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The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD Meet Them Effectively

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  • 1. The Peace and Security Challenges Facing Africa: Can the African Union and NEPAD meet them effectively? By J. ‘Kayode Fayemi 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 in historicalcontext. My presentation therefore examines the peace and security cluster of NEPADwithin the framework of the entire NEPAD Strategy document, highlight what I considerto be good aspects of the cluster, providing a critical perspective of its overarching orderwhilst emphasising the need for African ownership of the process and products ofNEPAD, especially in the context of a newly established African Union (AU). In thiscontext, my own view is that the official promoters of NEPAD must recognise the needfor genuine partnership with the African people if the vision is to be translated intoconcrete initiatives, since the people have so far played little or no part in NEPAD’sconception, design and formulation so far. Whilst the original NEPAD document released after the October 2001 meeting ofits Heads of State Implementation Committee (HSIC) in Abuja recognised the centralityof peace and security to Africa’s development agenda. By also stressing the importanceof governance to the development and security agenda, the NEPAD document alsoattempts a holistic understanding of the linkage between governance, security anddevelopment. Yet a deeper 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) Action tocurb the illicit proliferation, circulation and trafficking of small arms and light weaponson the continent and d) promotion of peace support operations - reveals this link to betenuous and superficial with very little attention paid to a holistic peace building andhuman security approach to development. The March 2002 meeting of the HSICdeveloped this cluster in a more comprehensive manner by adding four key aspects - 1
  • 2. namely, 1) Support efforts to promote democracy, good governance and respect forhuman rights through appropriate policy and institutional reforms; (2) Enhance capacityto conduct thorough inclusive strategic assessments of situations in regions affected byconflict, (3) Resource mobilisation for the African Union Peace Fund and finally, theHSIC summit also pushed for the ratification of the OAU Convention on CombatingTerrorism as a means of addressing 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 unclear relationshipbetween NEPAD and the OAU Secretariat, especially the Conflict Management Centrecharged with the responsibilities for operationalising the Mechanism for ConflictPrevention, Management and Resolution as well as the relationship between the peaceand security clusters of NEPAD and the security and stability calabashes of theConference on Security, Stability Development and Cooperation in Africa (CSSDCA),already incorporated into the OAU since its adoption at the Lome Summit of 1999. Alsothe relationship between Regional Economic Communities (RECS) and NEPAD in thepromotion of peace and security also received some attention at the March meeting. Ishould state at this point that extensive work has been done on the NEPAD document andthe revised Central Organ document of the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention,Management and Resolution by a Committee of OAU Ambassadors with a group ofexperts leading to the recommendation to consolidate both aspects into the work of a neworgan of the African 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 HSIC attheir March 2002 meeting were those underscoring the need to promote democracy, goodgovernance and respect for human rights through appropriate policy and institutionalreforms. Although this was an assumption that runs through the entire NEPAD document,stating it explicitly as a priority area elaborates on the purpose, object, and themechanisms for the attainment of security and peace and moves the peace and securitycluster away from the traditional, military and state-centric focus of the original priorityareas. Democratising security to prevent conflict and build peace also captures the veryessence of human security and effectively links human security to human development byunderscoring the fact that both require democratic governance in order to attain peace.This recognition of the need to re-conceptualise ‘security’ in a more responsive directionwith a move away from the traditional emphasis on national/state security to a focus on‘human security’ with an expansion in the scope of the concept from its narrow meaningof (physical security) to include access to the means of life, the provision of essentialgoods, a clean and sustainable environment as well as human rights and democraticfreedoms is clearly commendable. Indeed, the increasing linkage drawn between security and development, on theone hand rooting insecurity in conditions of underdevelopment, and on the other, therecognition that security is an essential precondition and component of development, aswell as the tendency to see defence and security as both a public policy and governanceissue (thus broadening the range of communities and constituencies that can participate inthis formerly restricted area) ought to be welcome by all those following these debates byAfrican leaders in their quest to promote NEPAD. Yet, while it is now accepted thatefforts to address Africa’s violent conflicts must be linked to wider democratisation andsustained development efforts, the challenge remains how to translate this new 2
  • 3. understanding into specific policies and how to ensure effective implementation of thesepolicies through the promotion of the core values contained in them. This is even more sowithin the context of a New Partnership for Africa’s Development that is keen to promotecertain core values at a time that these values are common to all countries and all peoplesin the same degree. The critical question therefore is to what extent is there a common perception ofsecurity in Africa and is this common perception articulated and universally shared? If itis, is it possible to identify the underlying consensus and the common value systems inthem. A cursory glance points to continuing tension between a ‘national security’ - nationbuilding approach and a ‘human security’ - peace building approach, yet there need notbe a Manichean divide between the two. Yet, when a country goes for one approach orthe other, the values promoted are dissimilar. It is therefore important to understand thecauses and nature of conflicts in Africa in order to know the values of security to bepromoted 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 important taskis to examine in a more nuanced manner the historic roots and contemporary trajectoriesof Africa’s violent conflicts and to move away from simplistic interpretation of causesbased on notions such as ‘greed’, ‘poverty’, or ‘ethnicity’. Africa’s conflicts share acommon backdrop of economic stagnation and faltering democratic rule that underminedstate capacity and legitimacy in the 1980s. Yet each conflict has followed its owntrajectory shaped by political and policy choices partly made by African governments andpartly imposed by the international context. Among the most critical elements inunderstanding the new conflict equation arising out of the 1990s political transition onthe 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;• 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). 3
  • 4. 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. Thetruth is however more complex that this. Examined critically, the most important lessonof the 1990s conflict in Africa is that the 1980s laid a solid basis for them through thesevere economic and fiscal compression exemplified by the structural adjustment shocksof the period. It is no longer in doubt that the erosion of social capital, political legitimacyand institutional weakening of many African states can be directly linked to the policychoices 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. Four pillars ofpeace and security ought to form the core of this agenda: 1) human security as thebedrock for peace; 2) democracy and open governance; 3) transformation of violentconflicts through political processes; and 4) collective security for all African states. 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. To achieve this political consensus,governance in the security sector which treats security actors as stakeholders in processesof democratisation and administrative reform is central, both in terms of long termcontainment of conflict and in terms of democratic consolidation. The appropriateframework for achieving governance in the security sector is human security. Yet, ifconflict provides the framework, regionalism is the basic institutional scaffolding thatAfricans should pay particular attention to since the gains of a human security approachare best realised within a regional context, hence the importance of NEPAD in thecontext of the new African Union. Although regionalism has taken a much firmer root in Africa, crowned recentlyby the launch of NEPAD, regionalism still faces a critical problem of entrenchment in aregion where efforts to build homogenous nation-states on the basis of artificiallyconstructed boundaries have resulted in forced unity through the promotion of theprinciple of “non-interference”. Since sovereignty of the nation-state is regarded assacrosanct and inviolable, states that have ceased to function as states in the traditionalsense of providing basic needs for the citizens still enjoy support and assistance indevelopment circles even when it is known that these states are nothing but privatisedentities. Even when regional and sub-regional mechanisms put in place by Africans havedeveloped autonomous capacity to handle local conflicts in spite of the inherent 4
  • 5. challenges of regionalism, the critical issue for NEPAD remains how best to address thelegacy of the Westphalia logic of sovereignty as well as moving away from theregionalism of leaders in which regional integration is only recognised as happening atthe level of leaders with scant regard paid to the rising regional consciousness at the levelof the citizens and addressing the regionalism of institutions in which several institutionsare created, primarily ion name only with little or no capacity to manage them. It is onlywhen regionalism is taken seriously as a response to globalisation that Africans candefine a new relationship with the International community. The institutional and operational suggestions above will only have meaning if itpermeates the realities of the ordinary citizens. Although NEPAD acknowledges the factthat poor people rate insecurity as a key cause of poverty, it seems clear that the evidencefor seeing poverty as a cause of armed conflict is generally weak in Africa. The mostpoverty stricken parts of the continent are clearly not the most conflict ridden. Yet, whileit is true that inequality or relative deprivation rather than poverty as in absolutedeprivation is more to blame for conflict, it is important to take a far more complex viewof the causes of conflict in their economic, political, environmental and culturaldimensions. Clearly, poverty - as exemplified by the inequality arising out of unfair sharing ofglobal opportunities - remains the greatest threat to security and democratic consolidationin Africa today and, at the broadest level, globalisation is resulting in deep polarisationbetween rich and poor throughout the continent. Whereas quantitative accounts of theproblems do not always tell the whole story, even the available statistics for the Africancontinent paint a gory picture - especially in terms of the impact of conflict on poverty onthe continent. Acknowledging the fact that an exclusive focus on the nation state has preventedan understanding of regional specific determinants in the poverty-security-developmentcomplex might help NEPAD promoters to address some of the policy issues andpossibilities that can make a difference. Having secured an understanding of the natureand context of conflict on the continent, what are the prospects for addressing thechallenges and what should NEPAD leaders and actors do? 5
  • 6. 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 global partnership.The 1980s were a testament to the dangers of ‘broad brush’ approaches, characterised bythe external imposition of macro-economic stabilisation and structural adjustmentprogrammes that were sufficiently inflexible to account for the diversity of circumstancesand need. Developing more ‘home grown’ approaches will require donors to relinquishgreater responsibility to Africa’s leaders and their people. Given the different trajectoriesthat we have seen on the continent, it is important to develop a typology of African statesin the post cold war transitions decade in order to avoid the broad-brush strategies thatdid not work in the 1980s. It is possible to identify in this context at least five categoriesof African states ranging from progress to stasis, and in a few cases reversal, andrequiring different responses from development partners. It is possible to talk of 1)Consolidating states - South Africa, Botswana, Ghana, Senegal, Benin; 2) Semi, Virtualor proforma democracies in transition - Nigeria, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire; 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. Ihave identified issues that are common to all the states in question below and why it isimportant to respond to them differently, even if they are treated in a continuum.Ultimately, my argument is that given the “glocal” nature of the conflicts afflicting manyof the states, state rebuilding can only be reinforced in the context of regional integrationsupported by 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 of thedifferent security forces.Support for peace building and reconstruction: State rebuilding after state collapse oftenrequires a strong support for peace building and reconstruction measures. Peace in thiscontext has often been interpreted as mere absence of war and state rebuilding is oftenseen only in terms of physical reconstruction. While physical reconstruction may be anecessary departure point for state rebuilding, the defining characteristic of staterebuilding from a human security approach is the presence of holistic security and amodel of conflict management, which emphasises the fundamentals of military security,democratisation and consensus building, development, economic reform, human rightsand human dignity for the citizens to engage their rulers. Therefore, although the conventional wisdom is to ignore it, the security requiredin the immediate aftermath of conflict might also require higher rather than lowersecurity expenditure to enable the state and citizens cope with the impact of conflict -rehabilitating refugees and the internally displaced, providing for a secure, safe andenabling environment in which development initiatives can succeed and reintegratingformer combatants into society and economy. In situations where conditions of povertyprevail after post war conflict, it is reasonable to predict a correlation between the lack of 6
  • 7. development opportunities in terms of direct income generation to survivors and anincrease 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 relief agencies,there is always the pressing need to construe their role in terms of immediate restorationof peace and stability, rather than security and development through the promotion ofcommon values and the rule of law. The concentration on elections and electionsmonitoring in say Liberia, Sierra Leone and Nigeria in recent times gave an impressionthat what mattered most was the election, not democracy nor a recognition that electionsare not enough to guarantee democracy and development. Experience has since shownthat while there are immediate tasks that must be addressed in terms of peace buildingand reconstruction in every conflict situation - disaster relief and management,repatriation and reintegration of refugees and reduction in the proliferation of small armsand clearance of explosives, these are not the most successful ingredients of a successfulpeace building strategy. To promote sustainable security and peace building strategies therefore - Africanleaders and international development agencies must take a comprehensive look at peacebuilding and reconstruction strategies treating them as a continuum with short term (reliefand emergency aid and creating a secure and enabling environment); medium term (peacesupport operations) and long term (reconstruction, democracy & development)components in an integrated manner. Donor countries should be encouraged to fostergreater coherence amongst their own policies at an inter-agency level, as well as withintheir own regional structures (such as EU, OECD, etc). A good example as we pointedout in the preceding section is the fact that arms sales from developed countries is often atvariance with the emphasis the same countries place on conflict prevention and securitysector governance. Equally, in this respect, there is a need for stronger cooperation between theBretton Woods institutions, the UN Systems and other multi and bi-lateral developmentagencies as well as independent development institutions to reduce the overzealous focuson achieving fiscal discipline and macro-economic stability at the expense of efforts toprotect social spending. Donor responses have often involved conditionalities relating toautomatic decreases in military spending and reductions of military and other securityforces with no attention paid to the expensive nature of security and the objective securitythreats that each country faces. Especially in post conflict situations, this realizationshould inform international attitudes towards security sector transformation on the onehand, 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 assistance withlocal needs and efforts, not an opportunity to impose received wisdom and new theoriesof development. This is extremely important in the context of recent claims that NEPADis Africa owned - a claim that is rejected by many Africans. Where state institutionalcapacity is weak, an immense burden of responsibility is placed on IFIs and developmentagencies in which real dialogue with the people and wide consultations underscorewhatever actions are taken. Finally, international donors cannot ignore the internationalcontext in their response to peace building and reconstruction efforts. How, for example,has the often convoluted linkage between trans-national corporations, proliferation of 7
  • 8. arms and promotion of neo-liberal globalising trends by the industrial world underminethe success of security and development reforms in countries emerging out of conflict,especially within the context of an unstable region in which domino effect is real ratherthan imagined. These are some of the issues that are central to any discussion of the policy leveron peace building and reconstruction efforts and the extent to which the guidelinedocument considers them critically would determine the possibilities of success thatmight 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 which warmight be seen to be a legitimate means of removing regime types that promote conflictsand in which leaders have encroached upon common pool resources. To this end, somequestions might suffice in any consideration of complex political situations rather thanfocus exclusively on state monopoly of means of coercion. This is not to suggest thatstates do not have legitimate needs for security which might necessitate legitimateprocurement and monopoly of means of coercion, but this has to be demonstrated toensure that security is treated as common public good, not just regime good. It maytherefore 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 the policychallenges posed for conflict transformation and security sector reform within theNEPAD context and subject state monopoly of violence to international and regionalchecks. Although there is evidence to suggest that African leaders and their internationalpartners now accept the argument about broadening the agenda, but the commitment tothe mutually reinforcing interaction between the values of democracy, equity andsustainability still remain subordinate to the core need for macro-economic stability andintegration into the international political economy in the NEPAD document. This is whymany are still suspicious of the African leaders and their development partners’commitment to a human security approach in spite of the new rhetoric about localownership and social capital. 8
  • 9. Promoting social coherence through civil society development and multi-culturaltoleranceIf peace-building is taken as the sum total of activities that will support peace making andconflict transformation: demobilisation, re-structuring of the local security system -police and the military; resettlement of refugees and the internally displaced persons;removal of dangerous weapons - mines and other unexploded firearms, reconstruction ofshattered infrastructure and humanitarian and disaster relief - very few still advocate thatthis could be done with the exclusion of civil society. Indeed, even African leaders andinternational development agencies now see civil society as key to the successfulimplementation of these various aspects of post-conflict peace building process. Indiscussing rights based approach to governance and security sector transformation, localownership and development of social capital rests with the civil society, but it isimportant to place this within the context of developing institutional mechanisms for themanagement of diversity and difference and incorporating international human rightsframework into domestic law. Hence, the rights of the people to their resources shouldnot be compromised at the altar of encouraging foreign direct investment, especiallywhere this undermines environmental security. Since states are usually products of war and rampage, it might sound far-fetchedto base the quest for tolerance on the notion of reclaiming the militarised mind throughthe creation of structures capable of mediating conflict between belligerent parties.Perhaps, an explanation of this construction is necessary here. It is suggested that themilitary option now prevalent in several parts of the African continent is the inevitableconsequence of the acute nature of internal contradictions and the almost total absence ofdemocratic 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 support forprocesses 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 electoral democraciesand at worst elected dictatorships, has raised new questions on how to deepen thedemocratic content of current reforms in a process oriented, participatory and accountablemanner. At every level, the idea of constitutionalising democratising polities that havelargely functioned as ‘virtual’ democracies along multifaceted lines is taking shape. Today, the fact that the struggle for reconstituting the African state is taking placein no fewer than twenty African states in Angola, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Coted’Ivoire, Swaziland and Lesotho, to mention but a few, underscores a paradigmatic shiftfrom constitutionality to constitutionalism, a situation where constitutions are now seenas tools for building bridges between the state and civil society, a social compact based 9
  • 10. upon a foundation of consensus among the constituent elements within the polity andbetween them and the state in the quest for common value systems. What has to beemphasised however for the purpose of NEPAD and human security is the importance ofan organic link between the constitution as a rule of law instrument incorporatinginternational human rights framework and primarily concerned with restraininggovernment excesses, and the constitution as a legitimisation of power structures andrelations based on a broad social consensus and the values in diverse societies. In short, ifNEPAD is to promote the mutually reinforcing role of development, security anddemocracy, the task today is largely between bridging the gap between “juristicconstitutionalism” and “political and socio-economic constitutionalism” in the search forcommon core values if the ‘New Africa’ espoused in the NEPAD document is to havemeaning and be accountable to its citizens. The core issues around values in NEPAD can only be addressed in the context ofprinciples and values to which all Africans willingly subscribe. Values of representation,ownership, accessibility to all levels of government, accountability, openness andcollective responsibility. CSSDCA has been doing a lot of work on developing aconsensus driven value systems which is what would be the subject of the peer reviewmechanism. NEPAD is also developing a similar mechanism in preparation for theDurban summit of the African Union. While this is welcome by all, the scepticism thathas attended the search for common values to be promoted across Africa has beeninformed by the anti-democratic and reprehensible behaviour of some of the leaders whoare at the forefront of the NEPAD campaign and their total contempt for some of thesupposed values to which they have committed themselves. In spite of this generalscepticism, constitutionalism as a social compact remains the best route for forging thekind of value 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 and supportof measures that seek to provide the enabling environment for foreign direct investmentand the global integration of the economy - a mutual pursuit of political and economicliberalisation. This is the fundamental principle guiding the NEPAD document. So far,the logic of trickle down economics has failed to produce an integrated world economy inwhich all zones are winners. Indeed, as Caroline Thomas 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). 10
  • 11. This clearly contradicts the core assumption of globalisation that wealth wouldautomatically be created when the free market gains universal acceptance in the world.By arguing that the way to build assets against shocks is not via the creation of local selfsufficiency, but national economies should concentrate on what they can contribute to theworld economy, globalisation ignores the comparative advantage of the North, locksAfrican states further into relative powerlessness by creating conditions for conflictwhich further weakens the mediatory role of the states. Instead, it empowers those eliteswithin the state who can form part of the convoluted network in business and governmentcapable of acting independently of the juridical state. The fallout of this globalising trendis the unregulated trade in mineral resources, proliferation of arms and narcotics and theillicit trade in narcotics all of which ultimately undermine food security, environmentalsecurity and the security of the individual - all factors responsible for conflict today. Ithas also helped in deepening the rural-urban divide, fostered inter-generational strifeoccasioned by youth frustration and exacerbated the scourge of refugees and theinternally displaced, all of which have moved the hapless below the poverty line andmoved them closer to violence and conflict. In my view therefore, the greatest assets against shocks and disasters ultimatelylie with the development of human resources, better management of natural resourceendowment and respect for local ownership of the reform agenda whether in determiningthe role of the State or in arriving at the most effective poverty inducing mechanisms. Infairness, the NEPAD document pays some attention to this, but only within the context offree and unregulated market. Hence, it is also useful to examine and analyse individualsituations on their merit, rather than assume that the market is God. This is of course notto suggest that market has no role in reforming states structures. It is to say that there areno universal models of the market as providing the best assets against shocks anddisasters, hence leaders and donor agencies must learn from their own experiences of themarket, security and public sector reforms in formulating realistic policies that are notdriven by dogma, even as they admit that certain assumptions undergird their work basedon 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 is widespreadin Africa with the current democratisation and development agenda threatens toundermine the whole campaign that NEPAD has generated. Indeed, many feel that thehype is more than what the eventual product offers. Hence, one can see a majoropposition to the current slow pace of democratic and economic development. Indeed,deepening democratic development remains an uphill task in several African countries,especially in the aftermath of the global shock occasioned by the 9/11 tragedy inAmerica. There are indications that even the enthusiasm that greeted the NEPADinitiative in the G8 countries has been enveloped in another global shift which is now infavour of despotic peace in place of democratic, even if unsettling, freedom. The greatestchallenge of course is to understand that despite the frustrations and impatience of thepeople with this democratic deficit, there is some realisation that transitions areinherently unstable and unpredictable. 11
  • 12. It is our hope that the leaders meeting in Kananaskis, Canada this June and inDurban next month will bear the above in mind as they prepare the Action Plan for thismuch needed partnership for Africa’s Development - one that secures the world andpromote peace. Based on the above comments, a number of measures seem to suggestthemselves to us about how best to take the NEPAD Peace and Security clusters forwardin the context of the new African Union, especially in developing a human securityapproach that promotes human development: • 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) • 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 peace • 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; • 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; • 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 • 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; • 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; • There is the need for democratic governance, not just civilian control of military and security establishments in democratising polities; 12
  • 13. • 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.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.mapstrategy.org; www.nepad.org.zaThomas, C. & P. Wilkin (eds.) 1998. Globalisation, Human Security & the African Experience, Boulder, Colorado: Lynne Rienner.UNDP, Human Development Report 1994. 13

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