Published on Apr 22, 2014
Ambassadors Series Africa Panel #2: African Solutions to African Problems aimed at serving as a platform to bring diplomats accredited to the United Nations together with academics, experts and civil society to engage with one another, and to discuss global issues and exchange multiple perspectives, was held at the Peace Islands Institute in partnership with the Journalists and Writers Foundation.
The second panel on Africa was moderated by H.E Antonio Tete, Permanent Observer of the African Union to the United Nations, and speeches were delivered respectively by H.E Anatolio Ndong MBA, Permanent Representative of Equatorial Guinea to the UN, H.E Kingsley Mamabolo, Permanent Representative of South Africa to the UN, and H.E Osama Abdelkhalek, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Egypt to the UN.
The issues the panel mainly covered were of education, health, culture, and peace and security problems. One approach reverberated among the panelists was to focus on political and economic unity among different nations in Africa by fostering better trade agreements and open dialogue.
Speakers chose to look forward instead of continuing to analyze the past problems, and to recognize the accomplishments of Africans in art, math, science, music, and law before being colonized and to forge ahead remembering these successes. Africa can create amazing these institutions again. Speakers also highlighted the need for the African Union to stay focused on its ambitious goals for 2050 and work to make them happen sooner. The idea of democracy in Africa was mentioned but also that democratization comes in many forms, and Africans needed to mold that idea to suit African ways of thinking.
More involvement of Africa on a global scale is still needed to help improve current reforms and solidify them. Not only does the mindset need to change from the international perspective, but also from the African perspective. Africans need to be more accountable to them first. The importance of defining priorities before collaborating with other nations on investment was mentioned, and that Africa is not asking for handouts. A major way for this to happen is for Africa to unite as a whole continent instead of continuing to divide among national, ethnic, religious, and political lines. It was a common theme among the panelists that Africa is a rich country with the manpower and resources, but now it just needs to harmonize those resources.