Somalia's Rebirth and Future of Africa

Published on 11th September 2012

It is Africa's hope that the election of Somalia's new president by the parliament will mark the end of the country's fratricidal war. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud trounced outgoing President Sheik Sharif Sheikh Ahmed by the legislative vote of 190 to 79.

A number of players from Africa and the international community have invested heavily to make the country achieve its current status. The new government and the people of Somalia must consequently not disappoint these well-wishers by engaging in mindless clan and supremacy battles. On the other hand, Somalia's well-wishers ought to give the new country room to identify the needs of its people and attend to the needs. Coercing the new government to fulfill external interest group demands at this point will compromise the growth of the resurging state.

While celebrating the baby steps that Somalia is taking, Africa must not forget that a raging inferno still prevails in the continent. The Great Lakes war in DR Congo has assumed a regional dimension; Mali is breaking under the weight of secessionists; the tension in the Republic of South Sudan and Sudan can explode any moment; Guinea Bissau is threatened by military adventurists; while the rise of religious fundamentalism is threatening Nigeria's socio-political and economic fabric.

The much hyped observation that 'this is Africa's century' shall never be realized if the continent is perpetually in conflict. Africans must proactively resolve to address issues without resorting to armed conflict and invest in developing the capacity to handle internal disputes successfully.

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