Editorial: African leaders need to walk the talk

Someone once said that Africa was shaped like a revolver and the DR Congo was the trigger

Considered to be one of the world’s most resource-rich nations, decades of catastrophes – some of them self-inflicted – have put it in a vegetative state, right down there among the most impoverished nations.

There have been major arguments as to why things turned out the way they did. Some blame it on the Cold War, greedy multinationals and a leadership wallowing in a sea of kleptomania. The end-sum game was inevitable.

But last week, a ray of hope shone at the end of the tunnel. In what could possibly be his maiden appearance on an international panel in his capacity as Head of State, newly elected DRC President, Felix Tchisekedi, sent out positive signals, something that has never come out from that part of the continent.

On some of the current trade wars and other conflicts around, Tchisekedi said that what was needed was building bridges and not walls.

Africa has embarked on a very ambitious project of creating one big common market. But seeing the way the African Continental Free Trade Area has been dragging its feet, the consistent tariff barriers and protectionist policies, it is a very long shot.

If every African leader could come to the table with a message such as Tchisekedi’s and walking the talk, that is when we would say; “there is still room to hope”.