MEDays Forum – 2nd to 5th November 2022
THEME: “FROM CRISES TO CRISES: TOWARDS A NEW WORLD ORDER”
MEDays Session 1: Africa on the Global Stage in Time of Upheaval: Is « Non-Aligned » synonym for Not Listened To?”
Date and Time of the Session: Thursday, November 3rd 2022, 11:30 am
The majority of African states have opted for non-alignment since the Cold War. Such a posture allowed the continent to avoid becoming mired in a devastating geopolitical opposition while enjoying stable relations with both sides. Today, the return of war to Europe and Sino-American rivalry in the Indo-Pacific are plunging the world into an era of tensions not seen since 1991.
African states remain faithful to their line. With the exceptionof Eritrea, the Central African Republic and Mali, which have shown their support for Moscow, Africannations are neutral in regards to the conflict in Ukraine. Moreover, the privileged relationship with Chinaand the great development opportunities presented by a potential partnership with the United States makeit difficult to align in the event of a more pronounced confrontation in the Indo-Pacific.
However, this policy of non-alignment has certain limits. During the Cold War, the continent was rarely listened to on the international stage. In spite of this, Africa was at the center of the great powers’ chessboard, which was reflected in the continent’s instability and lack of development. At the dawn of what some are already calling the second cold war, Africa risks once again being subjected to the geopolitical machinations of the great powers. The deaf ear to African issues since the beginning of the global crises in 2020 seems to demonstrate this. The low quantity of vaccines against Covid-19 available in Africa, despite the various calls for health cooperation initiated by countless organizations, is a major indicator of this attitude. Thus, it is crucial that non-alignment does not affect Africa’s ability to defend its interests. The continent must reorganize itself into a real pressure block, capable of speaking for itself without compromising its position and finding itself dragged into a global geopolitical struggle.
International wars and crises have had and continue to have devastating effects on Africa.
The growing cost of food and fuel, inflation, and financial instability are the effects of the worldwide crises that are most obvious in Africa. The poorest people are most severely impacted because food and transportation make up a major amount of their consumption costs. The effects of food insecurity on all facets of human development, including income, health, and education, are likely to be long-lasting.
Addressing on the structural underlying causes of these crises would present an opportunity to advance. Integration and interdependence on a regional, economic, and social scale may offer a chance for mutually beneficial and sustainable growth. However, the challenges that the aforementioned integration may bring along, e.g. increased security issues, must be taken into consideration and equally addressed.
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