China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s remarks in his recent tour of African nations that included Kenya, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo are worthy of note. The diplomat assured Africa that his country would neither take the old path of Western colonists nor sacrifice Africa’s ecological environment and long-term interests. This assurance comes in the wake of increased mixed feelings on whether Africa will be better off in the China-Africa partnership.
How Africa plays its cards will determine whether the continent will be better-off or worse-off. In September last year, thought leaders from Eastern Africa who gathered under the auspices of the 4th IREN Eastern African Thought Leaders Forum resolved and identified Africa’s core interest to be TO CREATE AFRICANS’ SPACE GLOBALLY. They observed that Africans need to be guided by galvanizing core interests in order to enhance the continent’s shared values; purpose for existence; efficiency and African agency. They urged Africans to take charge of their destiny; rid themselves of the trauma arising from past centuries and current skewed global dispensation; forge strategic collaborations within Africa; identify common threats and interests; develop mechanisms to manage successes and failures; evolve homegrown governance systems; evolve practical joint African positions in the wake of numerous Bi-multilateral initiatives targeting the continent and promote thought leadership on the continent. These steps are a good position from which Africa can begin.