AU nurtures open dialogue on natural resources and peace


Yesterday 23th of April, the management of the AU Tana High-level Forum on Security in Africa met in the Bahir Dar city of Ethiopia to openly discuss about main issues that usually cause conflict within a nation and among nation in the continent, which is natural resources.

“The Forum has become a platform to nurture open dialogue on the continent’s peace. Unless we manage our natural resources properly, they will become a source of contention,” said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

Prime Minister Desalegn further laid emphasis on the need to utilize Africa’s nature resources and turn it to useful capitals – human and non-human.

He added: “If natural resources have to contribute to human development, they ought to be used productively. Natural resources need to be transformed to manufactured capital and human capital. Specific policies are needed for that to happen.”

A recently African Development Bank (ADB) report indicates that over the past sixty years, forty to sixty per cent of internal disastrous conflicts on the continent have strong links with natural resources.

The chairperson of the forum, former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo exposed the attendees to how in 2016 Ethiopia, South Africa and Tunisia made their citizens to protest against the mismanagement of natural resources.

The deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission, Thomas Kwesi Quartey also added that Africa needs to concentrate more on educating its youth in order to tackle its major development challenges, which includes natural resources governance.

Reports gathered so far confirm that Africa is one of the most blessed continents on earth. The content is endowed with at least 12 per cent of global oil reserves, 40 per cent of gold deposit, hundreds of precious minerals and about 60 per cent of the world’s arable but uncultivated land.

The forum will reflect on what is hampering the continent from better managing its natural resources and come up with recommendations on the way forward. It was also designed to address sea water, agricultural land, inland water, forests and biodiversity of Africa, and likewise their economic implications.

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