How Africa can dominate global politics – Guardian Nigeria

Tee Rasheed
9 Min Read

Prof. Eghosa Osaghae
Stakeholders on foreign relations and diplomacy have proffered ways Africa can play and dominate global politics stage.These experts, however, recommended that the continent needs to set its house in order to play a relevant role on global politics. They suggested that Africa needs to improve its domestic environment and seek first its political development.
This was recommended at a Panel Discussion organised by The Embassy of Czech Republic in Nigeria and Nigerian Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), themed, ‘Africa in the International Arena and the Search for Relevance’, held in Lagos.
Director General, NIIA, Eghosa Osaghae, said Africa is a significant player in the global stage and now has the biggest trade market in the world with the introduction of African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).
He said in terms of the innovation, balanced systems, strategic importance of places like gulf of Guinea, there is no way the world can move on without Africa, adding that the continent can play a strategic role in the future of global politics.
“Despite the struggles to be independent, Africa has always insisted that the world is its larger stage. There is no way the world can move on without Africa. Most of all, Africa is the harbinger of peace and the balance that will be necessary for global security and prosperity,” he said.
Speaking on the event, Osaghae said such collaboration with Czech Republic strengthens and extends ties between countries, adding that the country has always been a significant player in the global stage, so its inputs would be valuable.
Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Czech Republic to Nigeria, Zdenek Krejci, stressed that the importance of Africa is growing louder and its population represents opportunities for economic cooperation.
He emphasised the need to invest in education to develop the capacity of people, which would open more opportunities and reduce the wave of emigration.
“Africa is no longer just a continent of conflicts and humanitarian disaster, it is a dynamic region with a faster-growing population in the world and represents opportunities for economic, cultural and other co-operations.
“This is the right tool in Nigeria. At the same time, however, it is important to monitor the direction in which Nigeria is developing in the political and social spheres and we are very grateful for the insights from this panel,” he said.
Research Professor, NIIA, Femi Otubanjo urged Nigeria to learn from the political resolution of Czech Republic, which is one of the world’s most stable and prosperous countries.
“Czech Republic is a model in terms of democracy, stability, meritocracy, and focus on economic management. We are very privileged to partner with this great Republic.”
According to him, Africa is a complex and diverse continent with many commonalities in history and governance, with factors including the slave trade, colonisation, exploitation and now neo-colonialism and there are still such commonalities in contemporary Africa.
He however cautioned on the need to recognise the heterogeneity of Africa in international affairs. Otubanjo, insisting that Africa requires an evolution said the continent must first seek to reform its domestic environment, as an ineffective democratic system Africa would still be backwards.
Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Lagos, Ms. Yan Yuqing, said that peace and development are the two points that Africa needs for growth.
She however added that there are opportunities for Nigeria and China to develop its bilateral relations, adding that the former has many landmarks of gallant works with the latter.
“Africa is our trading partner and China is a real partner of Africa and will continue supporting Nigeria in developments, “she added.
Director of Research and Studies Department, NIIA, Efem Ubi, speaking against inequality and disparity, said Africa must play the same role every other country is playing, adding that the recent happening is a reflection of the state of the mind of the people.
According to him, the continent should move towards collectivisation, which enables the developing countries to come together to engage the advanced nation, as there are certain issues that cannot be handled as sovereign states.
“So movements like BRICS, South South Cooperation, G20, would help the continent in forming a powerful front. In the 21st century, power is dispersed. It could be economic, political, military or other forms,” he added.
He said that Africa’s debate has moved beyond innate problems to super power rivalry, which makes the continent look weak and is being constantly manipulated.  To remedy it, he said Africa needs to reassert itself and overcome fear and tackle its individual and regional issues.
“Africa must move away from being subordinate and subservient to advanced countries. Rivalry diminishes and undermines the continent and makes it appear like a thing that can be shared among the developed world. The recent coups are just a reaction to this,” he said.
He added that when implementing strategies, Africa needs to adapt such systems to suit its realities and local peculiarities.
Associate Professor of Modern History, University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic, Jan Zahorik, said for Africa to become a significant player in the world, industrialisation should be a major focus, as it is associated with urbanisation, rise of civil society groups, accountability systems, economic and educational development and others.
He said Africa no longer wants to hear about unipolarity anymore but multipolarity and so blocs like BRICS allows them to choose what they want.
He explained the need for institutional reforms in Africa to address socio-economic inequalities and promote democracy.
Head of the Department of History and Strategic Studies, University of Lagos, David Aworawo, opined that Africa should play a major and central role in global politics. He added that it is in the interest of Africa to present itself globally as a unit as from history, it has produced more results that way and because of its weak individuality.
He stressed on human capacity development, while also adding that neo-colonialism remains a problem Africa has struggled to end.
For Senior Research Fellow, NIIA, Adesuwa Erediauwa, the issues with Africa are complex and multifaceted, but despite the prognosis of conflict, poverty, inequality, the scramble for Africa still intensifies due to its large youth population.
She stated the need for transparency, accountability, promoting infrastructure and connectivity like transportation and digital connectivity, which she explained would lay the foundation for driving inclusive growth.
“Africa can leverage BRICS support for its own development. It’s important to ensure mutually beneficial trade. Africa can use its relationship with the BRICS to develop itself and trade with the West and South. It can use its amiable land, geographical location and natural resources needed by the world to push the clean energy drive for its advantage,” she said.

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