The maxim African solution to African problem traces back its origin to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) that refers African states to “Try Africa First” before appealing for conflict management assistance from others. The Commission of Mediation, Conciliation and Arbitration that is established by virtue of Article VII and Article XIX of the charter of OAU as principal institution for accomplishing the purpose of the organization is formed after the pledge of states to settle all disputes among themselves peacefully. Since then, the maxim has been an indication of Africa’s resolve to address her own challenges without any external interference and leave the image of a permanently troubled land behind. Africans opted for homemade – locally tailored solution to their problems instead of the prescribed ones. This ownership of solutions enables Africans to formulate their solution to their problems and have every reason as well incentive to make them operational. Moreover, the utterance of “African solutions to African Problems” speaks values of Pan-Africanism for it stirs feelings of ownership, strengthens bonds of solidarity and patriotism among people of African descent. Based on the belief that unity is vital to economic, social, and political progress, this continued utterance of the maxim by African leaders paved the path to the formation of the African Union (AU).
As member state of the AU, the maxim African solutions to African Problems has proved to be viable for Sudan multiple times. Leaving the past, even in the recent social uprising that ousted former President Bashir from power in April 2019, the viability of the maxim has been seen. During this incident, the task of facilitating peaceful transition through dialogue and negotiation between the Transitional Military Council and the opposition represented by the Forces of Freedom and Change was carried out in the framework of the African Union-Ethiopia led mediation. Ethiopia was the then Chair of IGAD as well as a friend in need to Sudan. Together with the AU, they closely assisted the reconciliation and understanding of the Sudanese stakeholders. The successful signing of the political and constitutional declaration and the formation of the Transitional Civilian Government on August 21, 2019 in response to the demand of the Sudanese people was very exemplary. That is why Sudan’s public diplomacy group paid tribute to Ethiopia in 2019.
For Sudan to address the current challenge in a manner that contributes towards a peaceful resolution of the crisis, one viable way is returning back to African Solutions to African problems. Nobody else should sit in the driving seat of Sudan’s destiny! Since “bad company corrupts good character”, Sudan should take lessons from the straying barren efforts of her new “bosom buddy”- Egypt – and await this viable maxim.
Editor’s Note: The writer can be reached at [email protected]. The views expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of The Reporter.
Contributed by Birhan Teka