A report conducted by Foundation for Peace Professionals (PeacePro) has attributed foreign military presence in Africa to the proliferation of arms, ammunition and growing insecurity in the continent.
The report noted that huge mineral exploration in the continent had not brought commensurate economic returns to clean up its environment, create economic prosperity and provide employment for its teeming youth population.
Africa Peace Insight however, recommended de-militarization of Africa by ending all foreign military presence within a set time frame and developing a joint continental gateway to the global mineral market.
On its peace rating, API named Mauritius, Sierra Leone, Botswana, Equatorial Guinea and Tunisia as most peaceful countries across the 5 subregions of Africa and it equally listed South Africa, Sudan, South Sudan, Mali and Democratic Republic of Congo as least peaceful countries across the subregion.
The executive director, PeacePro Abdulrazaq Hamzat made the revelation at an online public presentation which had 129 participants.
He said: “API is an extracted report from the Global Peace Index (GPI), produced by Australia based Institute of Economics and Peace (IEP) to contextualize, simplify and further breakdown the GPI from a continental perspective.”
Hamzat explained that the API report spotlighted ongoing conflict in Africa including the situation in Ecowas led West Africa and the ongoing crisis in Sudan, review findings of Global Peace Index presented Africa as a single entity by extracting North Africa rating from the Middle East as done by the GPI.
The report also outlined the most and least peaceful countries across the subregion and provided recommendations on pressing peacebuilding concerns in the continent.
The report said that more than 70 percent of the continent was more peaceful than the United States, despite the huge challenges in the continent, adding that no African country is amongst the top 3 least peaceful countries in the world for 4 consecutive years.
It also noted that Africa is the epicenter of global crisis, as the Ethiopian civil war recorded more death than any other conflict in the world, yet it wondered why the continent didn’t get commensurate relief support compared to Ukraine, which had less casualties.
Lecturer at the Gambia University of Science Engineering and Technology (USET) Mrs Zulfah Jubril Sanni reviewed the report and said that the Africa Peace Insight report mirrored.the reality of the continent.
According to Zulfah, The Gambia was listed as the 4th most peaceful country in the report and she said that it reflected the peaceful nature of the country.
“While the country may not be as developed and rich as Nigeria, the general lifestyle of the people is built around contentment and social cohesion” she said.
Zulfah also maintained that the false perception of secessionist agitation in many African countries has been exposed as lacking depth, as demonstrated in Sudan.
“Inspite of the separation of South Sudan from Sudan, both countries are still amongst the least peaceful countries in the continent, with both having an aggravated internal crisis, far beyond the situation they had before their separation,” she said.
Another reviewer, who is a member of the Kwara state House of Assembly Hon. Rukayat Shittu stated that the media had a huge role to play in giving positive reports about Africa more prominence.
According to her, the review of the Global Peace Index in the Africa Peace Insight report brought a new perspective to the report.
She said the media should deliberately seek out positive aspects of any report or situation to uplift the continent, rather than echoing the narrative of foreign media or being fixated on negative stories.
Rukayat added that, “PeacePro has led the way in this aspect and that’s why we are now learning new facts about the Global Peace Index, which many thought was outrightly concentrated in misery in the continent”.