'Africa Needs Homegrown Solutions for Its Challenges'
Panelists and participants in the Kampala Geopolitics Conference (KGC) made case for Africa's need to create home-grown solutions to its problems.
Dr. Samuel Kazibwe, an expert on International Relations, said that "it's important to find homegrown solutions."
According to him, "we need to accept that the world has been flattened."
He observed: "Even when we choose to close ourselves as North Korea tries to do, we are living in a flattened world."
Dr. Kazibwe noted that countries across the globe now face similar challenges.
"What happens elsewhere affects us. Many times, African countries say they are sovereign, but sovereign in what?" he wondered.
Dr. Christian Happi, a professor of Molecular Biology and Genomics, concurred with Dr. Kazibwe, saying: "We need a critical mass of well-trained doctors who are Africans to come back home and work together in research to fast track the movement to sustainable global health in Africa."
Dr. Happi, who is also the director of the African Centre of Excellence for Genomics of Infectious Diseases (ACEGID), said: "Africa depends on the rest of the world for diagnostics, vaccines, and research. We need to cap the brain drain and invest more in coordinated African research to facilitate self-reliance in the health sector of Africa."
On his part, Prof Philip Kasaija Apuuli, who work with the Political Science Department at Makerere University noted that Africa needs to tackle its challenge on the front of leadership and funding.
"As Africans, we are not putting our house in order. We are not poor. We need African solutions to African problems with African money and African leaders," he said.
Some of the topics that have been discussed at the two-day conference include the role of the private sector in economic inclusion and sustainable development, the role of the African Union in conflict resolution, how to use data to achieve efficient population growth, the role of East Africa in Middle Eastern politics, reimagining Africa's high education on the global scale and championing innovations for transformation.
Rachel Sebudde, senior economist at World Bank observed that "the supply chain disruptions and increasing prices have led to the current inflation rates." According to her, "this has led to monetary tightening which has several implications. These developments have had an implication on Africa."
On climate change, she said: "Weather shocks have become more intense and frequent. This has had implications for agriculture. Combining these shocks has raised fears in Africa. Policymakers need to strengthen their ability to absorb shocks."
On human rights advocacy, Robert Sempala, the director of the Human Rights Network for Journalists, said: "In my country when you push the cause of amplifying the voice of those whose rights have been affected you are not received in open arms. It is safer for one to pursue a peaceful cause that doesn't point fingers."
Most discussants argued that most of Africa's problems come from governance issues and economic and social conflicts.
"We cannot go to our development partners seeking financial assistance to end civil wars because Africans have been known to spend aid funds on weaponry rather than diplomacy which would avoid the conflicts," said Betty Bigombe, a former Ugandan minister and diplomat.
"Oftentimes, we focus on the mediations with the rebels, but these rebels have grassroots foundations like mothers, sisters, and daughters who can be used to mediate with the rebels to bring them to reason. "
The fifth edition of the conference was sponsored by the French Embassy in Uganda, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), Makerere University, UN Women, Alliance Française Kampala, and the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (IRIS).
- 42 views
Join the conversation