FOOD insecurity and youth unemployment have been identified as responsible for the violence and crises that have plagued most African nations.
According to leaders on the continent, the situation could remain unabated should unemployment and food insecurity persist.
The opinion was reached at this year’s edition of Security Watch Africa lecture held in La Palm Beach Hotel, Accra, Ghana at the weekend. The lecture was attended by participants from different parts of Africa had delegates from Mali, Ghana, South Africa, Burkina Faso, Gambia and Nigeria attendance.
The event which was declared open by Ghana’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, represented by the Executive Director, Policy and Planning, Mr. Kodjo Wadee, also hosted the National Security Adviser to the president of Ghana, General Joseph Nuno-Mensah, Prof. Henri Fouche from the South African University, Cletus Avoka of the Ghananian Parliament, Governor of Abia State, Chief Theodore Orji, Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Abubakar and the Ghanaian Inspector General of Police, Mr. Paul Tawiah, among others.
The lecture titled: “Developing Regional Strategies and Best Practice in the Fighting against Crime and Conflicts in Africa” focused on why African nations have now become synonymous with conflict and violence and what should be done to ameliorate the situation.
Wadee said: “The quest for peace has eluded Africa for far too long. Despite the tremendous gains by some African countries in this area, the entire continent is often judged on the basis of the few but rather brutal conflicts and grave human rights violations that continue to plague it. The African continent is yet to rid itself of conflicts that threaten peace, security and political stability. The seemingly never-ending conflict in the Great Lakes region; the intense fighting in the horn of Africa, the post-electoral violence that broke out in Kenya, Zimbabwe and
Cote d’Ivoire and the grave human rights violations arising out of the Arab spring, particularly in Libya and the spillover consequences in fomenting an Islamist rebellion in Mali, are but a few of the security challenges of our continent.
“These conflicts have resulted in the death of millions of innocent Africans who entrusted their lives, and rightly so, in the hands of their leaders. These conflicts do not only give Africa a bad reputation; they also indict the assertions that Africans are capable of managing their own affairs.”
He urged African leaders to pay serious attention to food insecurity which he said is largely responsible for social unrest and regime change.
According to him, “more troubling is the problem of food insecurity.”
A recent survey report, “The Food Security Risk Index”, revealed that out of 59 countries that are most at risk of food insecurity in the world, 39 are in Africa. The report also showed that nine out of 11 countries in the ‘Extreme Risk’ category of food insecurity are in Africa.
“The danger of food insecurity lies in the destruction it is causing to the already limited human resources which is crucial to the socio-economic development of Africa. What is more, history teaches us that rising global prices sparked by food shortages easily create conditions for social unrest and regime change. The protracted situation in the Horn of Africa, particularly in Somalia, provides ample testimony to this fact.”
Nuno-Mensah urged the Nigerian government to focus attention on creating employment for the teeming youths of the country as a way of fighting the root cause of terrorism.
Avoka, who is the Majority Leader in the Parliament of Ghana, urged governments of Africa to beware of what they do to the people these days, as “the will of the people is most sophisticated than all military might in the world.”