President Paul Kagame's resounding speech at the recently concluded African Union Summit in support of Mali could not have come at a better time.
It has been argued over time that the Mali crisis would not have gone out of control if African states, had put in place rapid response mechanisms. The new wave of religious intolerance that is behind many conflicts is a dangerous cancer, and to rout it out, Africa has to speak as one.
African solidarity can begin with small but significant gestures. Whether its support to put out raging fires or contributing to relief efforts in a neighbouring country.
It is these kinds of things that go a long way in building trust and friendly relations. Offering a helping hand to a needy neighbour is a trait of African solidarity, and Mali should be experiencing it in its time of need.
Let Africa take the cue from President Kagame's motion to roll our sleeves and bring back sanity in Mali and anywhere else that is threatened by terror and intolerance.
If the continent sits back indifferently, the other players, who are often accused of interference and political patronage in Africa, might do it but on their own terms.