The New Times (Kigali)

Africa: We Need to Dress Our Continent With Colours of Peace

opinion

When a mad man walks naked, it is the kinsmen who are embarrassed not the mad man they say. Over the past few years, we as Africans have watched and heard as our neighbours; our very own kinsmen walk naked before the "market" of other continents.

Rwanda has shown the world we can through home tailored solutions of reconciliation and the Agaciro; the ripple effect should be felt across the continent.

As our kinsmen undressed, we watched and even laughed at them. We even gossiped and cheered them on. But now we are the laughing stoke. It pains to see the likes of United Nations sending their troops to watch as we tear one another's clothes.

We are holding the umbrella of solution in our hands not knowing when and how to open it. Right from the rooftop of Africa to the sides and also the horn of this beloved continent, war and unnecessary violence pull us back and further into the abyss of desperation.

Look at Somalia, a country so rich that has never enjoyed the richness of its resources because of the Alshabab militia group. Kenya struck oil the other day and the Mombasa Republican Council now claims Mombasa is not part of Kenya.

For those who know little about Kenya, allow me to enlighten you. Mombasa houses the largest oil refinery in the region and the oil used in Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi traces its roots to Changamwe refinery.

Northern Uganda too grapples with the same problem. Coming closer home, D RC bears the biggest brand of misfortune. A country that should be the richest in Africa for its unique minerals in its soil, mourns daily as they are choked by the gun powder and blinded by the thick smokes of war. There is Mali, Nigeria and many other countries that you and I know.

Yet we are watching as a continent and others have not even learnt from the same and are busy planning to attack their neighbours.

My mother taught me something when I was young, that when you get something good share it out with your neighbour. But this seems to have been taught only by this wise lady and within the boundaries of her compound.

With all these resources, why should we be begging and pestering our counterparts in other continents.

African leaders got to do something with the African Union body or banish it. We should come together and wipe all these mess up and forge a way forward.

We have an agenda of putting our house (Africa) in order. Peace is our theme this time - not spoken peace but action. Whoever dances a different tune should be suspended from our team.

To quell this uneasy feeling that has pitched tent on our beloved lush grounds of rich resources, we got to identify the root cause.

And be sure, we are not the enemy. So one of our aims will be to find the enemy and bring him down. We got everything; let us brood our own solutions and leave those who take advantage of our state by dishing out money to confuse us be ashamed. We will not grow rich by receiving money that haunts us. We got to create our own by what we have.

The fertile land of Somalia, the amazing wildlife of Kenya, the energy plant at the Pearl of Africa Uganda, gold in DR Congo, oil in Nigeria, Tanzania's rice industry, the beautiful infrastructure in Rwanda just to mention a few of what we rarely know we have to harness real riches that are untagged.

We got to dress up our neighbours and the continent at large with this admirable dress of peace and unity to look smart in this ceremony of celebrating our riches and resources. The time is now, if we are to act.

Let not the generation after us blame us for not acting appropriately. Rwanda has shown the world we can through home tailored solutions of reconciliation and the Agaciro; the ripple effect should be felt across the continent.

Let our resources join us more than they divide us. That should be our motto with a clear backdrop of regional empowerment. With this I rest my case; with a statement - in the arsenal of truth, there is no greater weapon than fact. And what I have given you are pure facts that can only be told by those who want to see our continent move forward on the lane of growth.

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