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15. Januar 2020 | Looking Ahead - Security Governance Challenges in Africa

Diescho Nachbericht


On Wednesday, January 15th, we were happy to welcome Prof. Dr. Dr. Joseph Diescho from Namibia, Visiting Professor at the Institute of International Humanitarian Law, University Bonn, for a lecture on the challenges of security governance in Africa. He is not only a novelist, but also the former Chairman of the Namibia Institute of Public Administration and Management (NIPAN) and served as the speechwriter for Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

According to Diescho, the continent is at a crossroads between traditional civilizational and new geopolitical dynamics. African states are facing several problems like poverty, class differences, religious as much as ethnic assertions and violent conflicts resulting in uncertainty about future developments. Additionally, democracy did not grow naturally here so it does not work flawlessly. Leaders are often chosen because of their heritage and subsequently corruption and patronage are common issues. These circumstances are one of the reasons for the success of the Chinese foreign policy in Africa. It does not ask about where the money is going or any kind of accountability, which makes it appealing for corrupt governments. On the contrary, European policies demand that citizens are able to hold their governments accountable for the usage of funds. According to Professor Diescho, it is this big advantage of European support, why young Africans should choose the traditional allies over the Chinese in order to fight domestic patronage systems which are detrimental to economic development and the rule of law.
Furthermore, he talked about the seeming problem of overpopulation. According to him, it actually is a problem of resource distribution. There would be enough for the African people, but resources are concentrated on certain regions and elites.

After all, the continent has great potential and is a big factor for Europe’s security. Therefore, there has to be a change in mindset and Europeans as much as Africans have to work hard and together in order to match the advantages of the appealing and tangible Chinese foreign policy.