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4 new african march 2019
Deadly games: Time to wake up Thank you for an excellent, and rare analysis of the power games currently being played out in the Horn of Africa (NA, January 2019). The title was very apt: a game of chess – with deep, often hidden moves unsuspected until the final checkmate.
I have some reservations about the conclusions arrived at by the author, James Jeffrey, but let that pass. What I find alarming is that not a single African publication, radio or TV programme seems to have any inkling about the very serious developments. Our press, and our politicians and leaders, seem to be sleepwalking while deadly games that will decide the future of large segments of our continent are being played out right under our noses.
Thank God for N e w A fr i c a n and your admirable vigilance. What has happened to our intelligentsia? Too busy gossiping on Facebook or Twitter? Where are our pan-African political analysts? Even Kagame seems to have gone quiet and Thabo Mbeki no longer seems interested.
It is time we applied thought to what is happening around us.
Mohammed Dirr, Washington, US
Only one Somalia I read your article on the new geopolitics of the Horn; it was informative and largely on point.
I have one observation which is about your characterisation of Somalia’s secessionist region Somaliland, which you showed as a separate country. Whatever your own position on ‘Somaliland’, it is incumbent on any credible international media outlet to respect facts of international law. The UN and its over 190 member countries recognise only one Somalia. ‘Somaliland’ may be a de facto entity, but legally it is still part of Somalia.
Ahmed Yusuf (address not supplied) In fact, there are four clear indications in the article that Somaliland is not recognised internationally, so we fail to see what your objections are – Ed. We should not be the grass on which elephants fight James Jeffrey’s article, ‘A Deadly Game of Chess in the Horn’ (January 2019) is a wonderful summary of the power play games for space within the Horn of Africa.
The continent needs to be vigilant and hold its pride; and disallow any competing global powers from playing roles for their own selfish gains. Permission should be discretionary when it comes to permitting any foreign power to gain a foothold. They must have bona fide reasons for economic investment and development.
It is high time that Africa changed its image from a trouble hot-spot, with conflicts and postelection violence; it must become a more stable environment conducive to flourishing economic growth.
The towns and cities of Africa must develop their identities and become popular upmarket tourist destinations with high-end hotels, restaurants and cafes. Tourism is the largest employer of people in Africa today. Encouraging investment in tourism-related industries will help promote citizens’ quality of life.
To achieve sustainable economic development, we must embrace diversity. This brings special skills to the workforce and the acumen needed to foster development.
In a country devastated by civil war and violence, to foster educational institutions, it is vital to allow foreign teachers to play a role in developing education from scratch. The same applies to other sectors of the economy. Embracing diversity brings the benefit of wisdom and knowledge.
But while we must welcome the world, we should ensure that our continent is no longer used as the grass on which elephants fight their battles, as was the case during the Cold War.
Kokil. K. Shah, Mombasa, Kenya