Tag Archives: African renaissance

Africa’s renaissance necessitates a permanent seat on the United Nation’s Security Council, by Chofor Che, 11 June 2013

There has been much talk about the reform of the United Nations (UN), particularly its Security Council. There has also been a lot of advocacy on Africa’s demand for a permanent seat on the UN Security Council. Most of the advocacy has focused on the jostling for permanent seats on the UN Security Council by a plethora of states, with Africa’s demand portrayed as an afterthought. Africa has demanded time and again a permanent seat on the UN Security Council to enable it to effectively contribute to the peacekeeping and conflict resolutions of the UN Security Council, whose agenda is dominated by African issues.

Reform of the United Nations Security Council includes five major issues: regional representation, the question of the veto held by the five permanent members, categories of membership, the size of an enlarged Council and its working methods, and the Security Council-General Assembly relationship.

The reform of the UN Security Council necessitates the agreement of at least two-thirds of UN member states and that of all the permanent members of the UN Security Council enjoying the veto right. Even though the geopolitical realities have changed drastically since 1945, when the set-up of the current Council was decided, the Security Council has changed very little during this long period. The winners of Second World War shaped the UN Charter in their national interests, dividing the veto-power amongst themselves. The imbalance between the number of seats on the UN Security Council and the total number of member States became evident and the only significant reform of the Security Council took place in 1965 after the ratification of two thirds of the membership, including the five permanent members of the Security Council. The reform included an increase of the non-permanent membership from six to 10 members. In all of these reforms, Africa was not given a major say in affairs of the UN Security Council, nor a permanent seat.

Out of the 193 members of the UN, Africa has 54 states, making it the continent with the greatest number of UN member states. Presently the UN Security Council is made up of five permanent members; the United States of America, France, China, Russia and the United Kingdom. The UN Security Council is also composed of 10 non-permanent members, including Togo, South Africa and Morocco from Africa. The non-permanent seats are on a two-year regional rotation basis.

The UN Charter therefore has impartial criteria for the selection of UN Security Council permanent members. The processes that Africa should undertake to secure permanent membership on the UN Security Council and the criteria to be used in selecting its permanent representatives in the UN Security Council, remains wanting.

In September 2012, President Michael Sata of Zambia, addressing the UN General Assembly in New York, urged Africans to put more pressure for a permanent seat on the UN. In May 2013, another African President, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe also said it was high time Africa had a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.

President Sata’s statement was in line with the Committee of 10 (C10). The C10 is an African Union (AU) creation advocating for Africa to have two permanent seats on the UN Security Council with veto powers and additionally, two non-permanent seats to look into the historical injustices that Africa suffered and to keep abreast with the geo-political realities of the modern times.

Most of the UN’s peacekeeping activities in the world are concentrated on the continent, which warrants the continent to have a firm say on how peace keeping operations are carried out on the continent. A lot of African countries like South Africa, Nigeria and Tunisia qualify to seat on the UN Security Council. South Africa for instance is the economic giant of Africa. Nigeria is also an economic giant and attracts major oil companies, despite the much talk about conflict and insecurity.

The continent should not only be a hub for land grabbing and economic exploitation. There is need to equally give Africa the chance to decide on major global issues especially affecting their well being. Africa’s renaissance is a reality, there is no turning back. To solidify and hasten this renaissance, it is germane for Africa to have a say in the making of major international decisions. Africa should be able to decide on major missions in the Democratic Republic of Congo, rather than allow certain UN Security members, who may have certain economic interests in this country, decide on the lives of Africans. There is need to give Africa a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, and the time is now.

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Posted by on June 11, 2013 in United Nations


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Never waste a crisis, By Patrick Smith, The African Report, 2 November 2012

After seeing the disarray among Western economies at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank meetings in Tokyo, African officials may have recalled the advice coined by Rahm Emanuel, President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff: “You don’t ever want a crisis to go to waste.”

The idea is that bad times allow governments to make radical policy changes as they can catch vested interests off guard. For Africa, this could be the time to invest massively in local manufacturing and services, then consign the old trading post economies to history.

Emanuel was speaking at the height of the 2008 global financial crisis, but his adage may be more relevant still for Africa in 2012 as its trading partners in the West struggle with a double-dip recession. Even if the United States recovery continues apace, European economies look set to stay in the anaemic zone for several years.

That further increases the importance of Asia’s economic resilience for Africa. Yet there are clear limits too: Asia’s demand for export commodities depends critically on the West’s demand for the manufactures. That commercial chain reaction could stymie the better economic story in Africa.

Yet there are signs that this division of labour is at last beginning to break up. Asian markets are growing in size, muscle and independence. The big economies in East and South Asia have launched ambitious fiscal stimulus programmes and are cautiously switching resources from savings to consumption.

Also good on the African ground is the drive to use much of the continent’s oil and gas resources to run new power stations. Almost all the latest generation of energy producers – Ghana, Tanzania, Uganda and Mozambique – are calling on contractors and banks to find ways to finance and build electricity generation and transmission projects. Using its access to the Nile waters, Ethiopia is leading the way: with its 6,000MW Renaissance dam project, it will export electricity across the region.

Read the original article on : Never waste a crisis [501820962] | The Africa
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Posted by on November 3, 2012 in Uncategorized


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