A high level symposium on democratisation in Africa took place in Kigali yesterday.
Some of Africa’s best minds were expected to brainstorm on what can be done to steer Africa’s prospects to greater heights. It is expected that the outcomes of the meeting, organised by the Meles Zenawi Foundation, in conjunction with the African Development Bank and the Government of Rwanda, will contribute to the continent’s development strategy – Agenda 2063.
Adopted in 2013 when the African Union was celebrating 50 years of African unity, Agenda 2063 is somewhat a result of an acknowledgment that most of the continent had squandered half a century and it was imperative that member nations carefully chart – in unison – the next 50 years.
The agenda is a very ambitious programme, but there is no reason why it cannot be achieved. But it will be an uphill task if the continent does not shed off the yoke of appearing as a bystander in determining its own destiny.
One of its aspirations is being self reliant and taking its development agenda into its own hands, not waiting – or even allowing – foreign forces to determine the outcome.
The apex of the agenda is that in slightly less than 50 years, the continent will be one African village with seamless borders. It is hoped that in the next 15 years, at least some sort of consensus will have been reached on a continental government and at least unified institutions.
But that dream will continue to be an illusion as long as some on our continent inhibit free movement, yet Agenda 2063 seeks to grow intra-African trade from about 12 per cent in 2013, when the agenda was drawn, to at least 50 per cent by 2045.
Rwanda set the ball rolling by opening its borders to nationals of African nations. The trick now is to see whether that goodwill is going to inspire other nations to follow suit, otherwise, we will find ourselves having lost a century of opportunities come 2063.