Divisive politics will slow Africa’s progress
Over the weekend, Ethiopia hosted the inaugural Tana-High Level Forum on Security in Africa, which explored ways of leveraging the continent’s diversity to promote and consolidate peace and security.
Addressing the gathering, which attracted several serving and former Heads of State and Government, Rwanda’s Foreign Affairs Minister said there was no prescribed formula to manage diversity, indicating there was no wrong or right model for that.
Instead, she backed home-grown solutions to diversity challenges, citing Rwanda’s choice to do away with any form of divisionism and to promote the unifying Rwandan identity as opposed to the past ethnic-based politics.
Over the past decades, Africa has been plagued by ethnic/tribal politics which have resulted to dire consequences. And, one country that understands such consequences is Rwanda. For more than three decades Rwandans were polarised along ethnic lines, with a section of the population denied even the most basic rights as both citizens and human beings. It is that form of politics that ultimately culminated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Such divisive politics have had devastating effects in many countries across the continent. Yet often times, leaders are the ones guilty of sowing these seeds for their own selfish ends.
It’s high time African leaders realised that such politics will only derail the ongoing progress the continent is experiencing.