Commitment for joint actions

Tuesday, 2019-12-31 16:21:51
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At the Russia - Africa Summit in Sochi, Russia on October 23-24 (Photo: AFP/VNA)
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NDO – The year 2019 witnessed many positive changes, both in politics, security and economy, in Africa; however, the continent has gone through the last few days of the year in mourning as a catastrophic attack in the Somali capital of Mogadishu resulted in at least 79 deaths and hundreds of injuries.

The seriousness of the terrorist attack has exposed the urgency needed to ensure peace, supporting the countries’ commitment to act together for a ‘dark continent without gunfire’.

In 2019, in the context of an increasing number of rebel groups and jihadists in Africa as well as the frequency and scale of violence not decreasing, there were two major events: Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development and the 12th Ordinary Meeting of the Specialized Technical Committee on Defense, Safety and Security of the African Union (AU) in December, affirming the determination to collectively fight against terrorism and stabilise the critical situation in Africa.

For the goal of a ‘dark continent without gunfire’ in 2020 in Africa, African officials declared their eagerness to face terrorism, violence, organised crime and trans-border crimes, while encouraging the initiatives of further development for the countries.

One of the bases for African authorities to pledge to act for ‘peaceful skies’ in more than 50 countries in the region was the remarkable achievements thanks to their efforts in restoring peace to many places. The agreement on a roadmap towards ending the bloody conflict in the Darfur region, which was signed by the Sudanese government and nine rebel groups on the year-end days, was a ‘valuable gift’ for Sudanese people before the New Year after a year of chaotic instabilities. Under the agreement, the parties pledged to resolve issues Darfur region and ensure security and stability throughout the country.

In 2019, national elections took place in more than 20 African countries, some of which seeing a low rate of participated voters. The situation reflected the people’s greater demands on improving the efficiency of the governance of the countries. Before the New Year 2020 ‘knocking’ Algeria, newly-elected President Abdelmadjid Tebboune promptly launched a new administration, while pledging to work with the protest movement to seek the end of the political crisis which lasted nearly the entire year, towards a ‘new Algeria’. Guinea-Bissau has also finished their second round of their presidential election. The people in the country, none better than one, are looking forward and hoping for practical measures to help their country overcome political deadlocks to embark on implementing plans to modernise the country, as the presidential candidates’ commitments.

In 2019, Africa was emerged as a continent that could turn potential into reality. The continents economy continued to grow, with an estimated GDP of 4%. Half of the fastest growing economies in the world currently belongs to the ‘dark continent’. Notably, the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), which took effect this year, was expected to change the continental economy and open the doors of ‘trade’ to the market of the over 1.2 billion population. The AfCFTA has brought Africa into a ‘pole’ in the global trade system. While the trend of trade protectionism increases, AfCFTA can contribute to raising the position and voice of Africa in the negotiations on trade agreements with major economic partners, such as the US, EU and China.

In 2019, a series of high-level events between Africa and other countries were held outside the continent, including the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum and Tokyo International Conference on African Development. Notably, the first Russia–Africa Summit was considered as an event marking the return of the ‘Land of Birch’. At the summit, the two sides exchanged extensive discussions, from political issues to economic and military projects worth billions of US dollars.

Along with an important geostrategic position, the increasingly stable political and security situation and greater economic and trade potentials were attractive factors helping Africa gain more attention from the powers of the world.