Sierra Leone Telegraph: 05 February 2023:
Sierra Leone’s former President Ernest Bai Koroma departed Freetown today Sunday, 5 February 2023 to join his peers on a five-nation visits to discuss security on the African continent.
Organized by the Brenthurst Foundation, the high-level event is scheduled to take place from the 5th – 12th February, starting in Accra (Ghana) and including meetings in Abidjan (Cote D’Ivoire), Dakar (Senegal), Niamey (Niger), and Abeokuta (Nigeria).
President Koroma who is a member of the Brenthurst Foundation’s Governing Board, said: “This is part of wider consultations with former heads of state and governments, current governments, military and security experts, as well as civil society, to explore innovative new ideas to address the security challenges facing our continent.”
The week-long West African roundtables will take place in the context of an escalation of conflict around the world, but especially in West Africa where there have been coups in Mali and Burkina Faso, as well as the erosion of democracy and elections related conflict in the West African region.
Specifically, the roundtables will discuss the security challenges facing Africa, with a focus on how internal and external players can collaborate to ensure stability; how state and non-state actors could be managed within the current environment; and what lessons could be learned from past co-operation.
Former President Ernest Bai Koroma is expected to share his experiences on governance, security and election processes in Africa.
Based in South Africa, the Brenthurst Foundation is a leading think tank, working to improve economic development by organizing high-level discussions to inform and guide government policy. It is chaired by former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo.
This is a positive move by Africa to be proactive based on the fact that whenever Europe sneezes, Africa catches cold. The first and second world wars that were started in Europe, and the Cold War between NATO and WARSAW pact impacted the African continent negatively. Currently, the potential of a third word war between Russia and NATO countries is already crippling our economies.
Africa will probably be the safest continent if President Putin decides to act on his threat of “using nuclear weapon” to achieve his ambition of making Ukrain part of Russia. The rise of Islamic extremism is also a serious threat in our region.
Let’s hope and pray that the African Union will do whatever it takes to avoid the mistakes of the past.
It will be outstanding if both our past and current leaders in Africa embrace each other to ensure there is peace in our regions, regardless of their political parties.
I am victims who undergo the trauma of eleven years of civil war in Sierra Leone. I sent myself to school with no surviving father and I am still undergoing the trauma and suffering because I came from a poor and deprived family. The poor are suffering too much in Africa.
I do not want to see anything like the war in Africa and the world. Let us respect the right of humanity in every society, and permaculture ethics.