Mbeki as the point man for peace in Africa

by oneafrikan on December 11, 2004

Read Mbeki as the point man for peace in Africa.

I think what is clear from this article is that the future of South Africa is tied intimately with Africa itself, and as leader of the most economically powerful nation in Africa, Mbeki automatically finds himself as both spokesman and statesman for a contintent in need of peace.

Read about President Mbeki’s peace efforts in Africa.

I think that some of the people I know look at Thabo Mbeki, and immediately think of the AIDS crisis and the continued problen that Zimbabwe presents, and feel ambivalent towards him, if not negative. I’m from the “get your own house in order first” school and must confess that my frustration with the above issues has often led me to wonder what is being done, and why so little seems to be happening.

On the one hand it seems to me that South Africa cannot adopt an aloof, isolationist approach to it’s position in Africa, and at the same time cannot relinquish it’s position as dominant country – there are both political and economic pressures which force it to act in it’s own and the continents interests. On the other hand, there are major issues within South Africa that need urgent attention, and more importantly the weight of Mbeki as leader behind them.

I’m battling to figure out what the right balance is – my gut tells me that we need to focus on developing a stable society where growth and development can be nurtured, but my head tells me that it’s not an issue mutually exclusive of promoting peace and the African Renaissance.

As I’m not the man in charge, and not faced with the same pressures and problems that Mbeki is faced with, it’s something that I can only imagine from afar.

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