The Bone of Contention

Topics: United Nations, Africa, Sudan Pages: 2 (522 words) Published: January 26, 2013
Name: Raymart Louie M. Panila Date: 01-21-13 BS-Pharmacy-1


Images of Africa have long been of a continent mired in conflict, poverty and squalor. Conflicts in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Somalia and Sudan, or poor governance in countries like Zimbabwe, have dominated reporting of Africa. There’s no denying that there are many issues facing our continent, but this picture is nevertheless reductive; it picks the failings of some corrupt regimes, and civil wars or genocide elsewhere to create a toxic mix which pollutes all countries in Africa. This is like claiming that all Europeans are guilty of “ethnic cleaning” on the evidence of what happened in the former Yugoslavia. Yes, some African countries are failed states, but let us always remember that Africa is 53 countries and most of them are peaceful and agreeable places.

Some fantastic progress has been made across Africa. Last year, the annual Ibrahim Index of African governance produced by my own Mo Ibrahim Foundation showed that governance had improved in two-thirds of African countries. Another core initiative of the Foundation is the Ibrahim Prize for excellence in leadership in Africa. We award over $7m to former executive heads of state or government who have demonstrated their commitment to advancing their countries and improving the quality of life for their citizens, while at the same time avoiding corruption and stepping down when they should. We have now awarded the prize twice, first to Joaquim Chissano, former President of Mozambique, and then to Festus Mogae, former President of Botswana. If we look at these two along with men like Kofi Annan and Nelson Mandela, we can see the calibre of leadership that Africa is capable of producing.

Name: Raymart Louie M. Panila...
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