Rwandan President Paul Kagame has said that incidences of insecurity across the continent can only be addressed by increased cooperation among the various agencies and nations.
Kagame was speaking at the fourth edition of the Dakar International Forum on Peace and Security in Africa, which brings together African heads of state and government, international partners, as well as peace and security actors.
Kagame said African countries can curb the issue in its various forms by taking responsibility and increasing cooperation among themselves.
“Insecurity flourishes where we fail to cooperate with each other adequately, building on whatever resources we might have. Insecurity takes many forms, from terrorism to uncontrolled migration, to divisive politics, or even consequences of the failure to adapt to climate change. But whatever the challenge is, we can best address it by working together,” he said.
Kagame’s comments come at a time when a number of African nations are facing security challenges that have displaced many and driven away investment.
He said the approach calls for coordination among Africans and not leaving the responsibility to outsiders.
“First and foremost, that means coordinating among ourselves as Africans. If we allow others to bear the burden and to define our challenges for us and take responsibility for addressing those problems on our behalf, we have only ourselves to blame for the dismal results,” he added.
This, he said, is among the reasons that the ongoing African Union reforms he is leading prioritise an assertive union that, among other things, finances its programmes, including common security and defence.
“A major pillar of the ongoing institutional reform of the African Union is a more focused and assertive Africa. Another key pillar, inseparable from the first, is to pay for African institutions, including common security and defence mechanisms, as much as possible from our own resources,” the President said.
He added that cooperation and collaboration should go beyond respective governments to all citizens to ensure sustainability.
This, he explained, was the foundation of peace and security in Rwanda as it is inclusive of citizens and the private sector.
“Stability is built on a foundation of trust and rising prosperity from which all citizens benefit. That is the logic behind the experience in our country. An inclusive and consultative form of politics in which citizens and the private sector are fully involved offers the best prospects for security and human development,” Kagame said.
This, however, does not mean that the continent cannot cooperate with international partners as many priorities and interests are similar, the President added
“African unity and resolve do not negate the importance of productive collaboration with our external partners. On the contrary, after all, on many critical priorities, such as counter-terrorism, our interests are fully aligned,” he said.
The two-day summit, which closes today, focuses on rethinking the continent’s security challenges under the theme, “Current security challenges in Africa: for integrated solutions.”
Hosted by Senegalese President Macky Sall, the forum is also being attended by Malian President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, French minister for armed forces Florence Parly, Chadian Prime Minister Albert Pahimi Padacké, African Union Commision chairperson Moussa Faki, and Japanese State Minister if Foreign Affairs Masahisa Sato.
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