The third session was all about the African Union coming together to evaluate the effects of foreign investments in Africa. Africa has gained an image of a continent in crisis, always suffering through war periods, imploding from starvation and disease. It has been seen as a continent that is unable to govern itself and blamed for corruption and dictatorship. This has led to many foreign countries to intervene and help Africa by offering aid.
“Cases from around Africa tell us that foreign powers intervene only when their own economic, political and strategic interests are at stake,” said the delegate of Botswana. Strongly agreeing with Botswana on the negative role foreign intervention has played, Morocco said, “The West has always been exploiting us, why should we always be the doormat that is always stepped on?” It urged all delegates to help stop Africa being exploited by the west.
During The Spring Uprising in 2011, instead of protecting civilian lives, NATO overthrew Muammar Qaddafi which resulted in a vacuum that opened the door to a civil war. This sparked a heated debate where The Republic of Congo recognised the help provided by its allies and said, “Foreign investment does not always have to be taken in a negative way and has helped Africa significantly flourish.” However, it also mentioned that predatory African elites such as the previous president of Zimbabwe indulged in external cohorts for their own personal benefit which played a significant role in undermining Africa’s ability. On the other hand, Tunisia acknowledged that France, Philippines, and the USA acted positively, helping during the war period and Libya also supported the role of the USA in bilateral agreements for aid during the civil war.
All in all, the debate led to a fruitful discussion in analysing how foreign intervention can be made efficient and lessons learned from the past about inefficient interventions can be manifested to help Africa maximise its potential.
Reporter: Naina Goel, Gulf News
Editor: Aayush Sukhija