VIABILITY OF AFRICAN SOLUTIONS TO AFRICAN PROBLEMS IN PEACE AND SECURITY
Africa's history is marked by a battle for self-determination, which has progressed through many stages and assumed various forms. This fight is best portrayed in Africa's goal for Pax-Africana, a peace ‘that is preserved and maintained by Africa herself', following the end of the Cold War and the emergence of a multi-polar world order in the twenty-first century.
African Solutions to African challenges (AfSol) is a concept that places Africa at the forefront of defining and solving its own challenges. This study supports the idea of AfSol as an extension of Pan Africanism and African Nationalism, and hence has strong historical origins.
The study examined the practicality of African Solutions to African Problems in the security domain, using the African Union as an institutional vehicle, using the 2011 Libyan crisis and the peacekeeping force deployed in Somalia (AMISOM) since 2007 as case studies.
The study investigates the practical difficulties the Union has faced in providing an African-centered solution to the Libyan crisis at the early stages of the conflict, and with the Somalia case study,
the study examines the type of difficulties the Union has faced with AMISOM by investigating how much of the mission's agenda is homegrown given that it is funded by foreign donors.
The study used a qualitative technique. The research data was compiled from both primary and secondary sources.
The AU is hampered in upholding AfSol in the peace and security domains due to institutional and financial weaknesses, and the study identified unwarranted external intervention in the internal affairs of African states as a challenge to the Union's genuine efforts to provide African-centered conflict resolution solutions.
The Libyan crisis of 2011 is one in which the Union devised a roadmap that anticipated the problems that any solution other than political would face, as its genuine efforts were thwarted by big power interests in Libya.
This demonstrated an instance in which the Union was not even permitted to take ownership of a crisis by proposing African-centered remedies on the continent.
On the other hand, AMISOM, heralded as a success story by some, is an example of how, even when some level of African ownership is exercised, African Solutions fall short since the mission is funded by external powers, who have a direct influence in the type of agenda carried out by the mission.
Finally, the report celebrates the concept of African answers to African Problems as having a high potential for offering long-term answers to the continent's peace and security challenges.
The concept is still a work in progress, but it should not be dismissed as ‘rhetoric' based on the AU's institutional and financial power; it is one that can be realised.
Africa is a conflict-torn continent, and the African Union (AU), primarily a peacekeeping and security entity, has been tasked with restoring peace and security to the continent. The organisation was founded with a new mandate to handle violence on the continent; its predecessor, the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), had failed to do so on its own due to its non-intervention philosophy.
The AU has embraced a new strategy known as non-indifference. The Rwandan genocide of 1994 was one of the elements that drove the OAU's metamorphosis into the AU, with the goal of finding African solutions to African problems.
According to Professor Amadou Sessay, the construction of the AU's Peace and Security architecture (APSA) demonstrates the organization's emphasis on local conflict prevention and management, as well as process ownership, as represented in the Constitutive Act.1
Africa has been a victim of foreign involvement since colonialism, and the meddling continues after more than 50 years of independence. According to Ferim Valery, African politicians and scholars have long expressed worry over foreign meddling in African countries' internal affairs.
They have criticised humanitarian involvement as a neocolonial goal driven by self-interest.2 With the fact that foreign participation in the continent is motivated by self-interest rather than a genuine desire to serve,
Africans have been driven to take control of their own affairs. ‘African Solutions' or ‘Try Africa First' highlights the attitude of African leaders through their multilateral organisations – the OAU, and now the AU and RECs – to minimise, as far as possible, direct external powers' participation in African disputes.