--African Leaders Should Accept Their Failure In Solving Conflicts-- President Paul Kagame has challenged African leaders to take responsibility and accept their failure in solving conflicts that have ravaged the continent for decades. The head of state was on Tuesday contributing to a panel discussion on ending conflict in Africa at the ongoing African Development Bank's annual meeting. The session was themed: "Solving conflicts and Peace building in Africa." In his remarks, President Kagame said African leaders should work together and solve their own problems without seeking help from European countries. "I think we must take responsibility and accept our failures in dealing with these matters," said Kagame. Commenting on the issue of Nigerian Islamist militia Boko Haram that had been raised by the former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, President Kagame said there was no need for regional leaders to travel to Europe seeking for help. "When I am watching television and I find that our leaders, who should have been working together all along to address these problems that only affect their countries, wait until they are invited to go to Europe to sit there and find solutions to their problems...it's as if they are made to sit down and address their problems," said Kagame. "Why does anybody wait for that?" asked Kagame. President Kagame added that such leaders seeking solutions to Africa's problems from outsiders tarnishes the continent's image. However, Kagame did not name any names. His comments were seen as reference to recent meeting in Paris attended by Nigerian President and other west africa leaders on the boko haram militants. "In fact, the image it gives is that we are not there to address these problems...they are (African leaders) happy to sit in Paris with the President of France and just talk about their problems," said Kagame. "It doesn't make sense that our leaders cannot get themselves together to address problems affecting our people," added Kagame. President Kagame said African leaders do not need to be invited by outsiders to go and address their domestic problems. "African leaders, we don't need to be invited anywhere to go and address our problems, without first inviting ourselves to come together to tell each other the actual truth we must tell each other," he said. President Kagame and other leaders were discussing findings of a report by panel of experts established by the African Development Bank President, Dr. Donald Kaberuka. The High Level Panel on Fragile States (HLPFS) chaired by Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. On South Sudan, President Kagame told the audience that it was the responsibility of the country's people and leaders who took time to fight for their independence but rather create another problem after attaining that independence. "This country and the people there wanted to be independent. They got independence but that turned into a problem," said Kagame. "You have won war being fought waged to get independence, then you have to fight another when you have achieved independence...just fighting among themselves." Kagame went on: "Some of these underlined root causes should and could have been addressed by the leaders there. Whatever happened, whoever was wrong-that's not the issue. It is still the responsibility of leaders if they can't resolve the matters themselves, why not calling neighbours to say come and help. We have a problem here."
High level debate at the Annual Meeting at the African Development Bank - Marrakech, 29 May 2013
President Donald Kaberuka established the High Level Panel on Fragile States (HLPFS) chaired by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia. The panel consists of seven eminent experts: Dame Barbara Stocking, Callisto Enias Madavo, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi, Gilbert Fossoun Houngbo, Greg Mills, Rakiya Omar, and Sarah Cliffe. The HLPFS report titled Ending Conflict and Building Peace in Africa: A Call to Action discusses in depth the experience of countries and partners in engaging in situations of fragility. This report comes at a critical time in light of the current emerging combined pressures of rapid urbanization, climate change, youth unemployment, inequality, and new discoveries of natural resources. Each of these factors place African societies under considerable strain and risk. Urgent attention must also be given to the transition of national movements into state-building and peace-building processes. The event will provide further attention to the urgent need to act immediately to ensure systems and policies are responsive, not only to address ongoing conflict, but to create an environment where future conflicts can be mitigated or avoided altogether in the long term.
Panelists: - Hon. Akinwunmi Adesina, Federal Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Nigeria - Dr. Carlos Lopes, Executive Secretary, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa - Prof. Justin Lin, Peking University, Beijing, China - Mr. V. Shankar, CEO for Africa, Europe, Middle East and Americas, Standard Chartered Bank. Description: Africa's global potential is dependent on how well it uses its window of opportunity to embark on industrialization. The point of departure is that few countries have attained a sustainable level of economic development and reduced poverty without a large and vibrant industrial sector, spearheaded by manufacturing activities -- which provide economic growth, employment, and economic diversification. As a result, many African countries are still at the initial stages of gaining access to Global Value Chains (GVCs) beyond natural resource exports. Issues for Discussion: 1. What does Africa need to do to develop global value chains and move up the productivity ladder? 2. Some natural resource-based sectors do not translate into jobs and employment opportunities. How can Africa ensure that its natural resources -- particularly the extractive industries -- serve as the entry point for the global value chains? Agro-business can also be Africa's entry point to the global value chains. What should be the balancing act between agro-business and food insecurity in the continent?