UNICEF: Child marriages must stop

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New Report  From Unicef Says Millions of Children, Mostly Girls, Suffer from the Practice

Wednesday, 7 March 2001: Armed with statistics showing that half of all girls in some countries are married by the time they reach age 18, the United Nations Children’s Fund called today for a global campaign to prevent the widespread phenomenon of child marriage, according to Women’s Health and Action Research Centre  (WHARC).

This call, on the eve of International Women’s Day, is part of a new report released today by UNICEF. Entitled “Early Marriage: Child Spouses,” it discusses why early marriage continues, and may even be on the rise among extremely poor populations.

Forcing children, especially girls, into early marriages can be physically and emotionally harmful,” said Carol Bellamy, the Executive Director of UNICEF. “It violates their rights to personal freedom and growth. Yet until now there has been virtually no attempt to examine child marriage as a human rights violation in and of itself.”

By analyzing child marriage as a violation of a child’s basic rights, the report seeks to build momentum for change. “This is another step in a growing movement to end the silent despair of millions of children, especially girls, who are being shuttered away in lives often full of misery and pain,” Bellamy said.

The report examines many of the implications of child marriage, from its restriction of personal freedom to its impact on health and education. For both boys and girls, early marriage has profound physical, intellectual, psychological and emotional consequences, cutting off educational opportunities and chances for personal growth. For girls, in addition, it will almost certainly mean premature pregnancy – which causes higher rates of maternal mortality – and is likely to lead to a lifetime of domestic and sexual subservience. Teenage girls are also more susceptible than mature women to sexually-transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS. Their vulnerability is dangerously increased because of the false belief in many places that if a man sleeps with a virgin, he’ll be cured of HIV/AIDS.

Child marriages can be found across the globe, but are pervasive in parts of Africa and South Asia according to UNICEF. The percentage of girls aged 15-19 in selected countries who are already married include:

Democratic Republic of Congo 74%
Niger 70%
Afghanistan 54%
Bangladesh 51%
Honduras 30%
Iraq 28%

Poverty is one of the major factors underpinning child marriage. In Bangladesh and like Nigeria, poverty-stricken parents are persuaded to part with daughters through promises of marriage, or by false marriages, which are used to lure girls into prostitution abroad. Accounts from Iraq indicate that early marriage is rising there in response to poverty. A similar situation is also experience in Nigeria presently.

The traditional desire to protect girls from out-of-wedlock pregnancies is also a primary factor. A recent UNICEF survey showed that 44 per cent of 20 to 24 year-old women in Niger were married before they reached age 15 because of this concern. In the communities studied, all decisions on the timing of marriage and the choice of spouse were made by the father.

Abuse is common in child marriages. Data from Egypt indicates that 29 per cent of married adolescents have been beaten by their husbands (or husband and others) and, of these adolescents, 41 per cent have been beaten during pregnancy. A study in Jordan, published in 2000, found that 26 per cent of reported cases of domestic violence were committed against wives under 18.

Domestic violence causes some girls to run away in desperation. “Those who do so, and those who choose a marriage partner against the wishes of their parents, may be punished, or even killed by their families. These girls run the risk of ‘honour killings’ that occur in Bangladesh, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey and elsewhere,” the report states.

Preventing Child Marriage

To prevent child marriage a wide range of individuals and organizations, from community leaders to international bodies, must take action. A first step is to inform parents and young people about the negative implications of child marriage so they can choose to prevent it.

Education is key in this process. Persuading parents to keep their daughters in school is critical for the overall development of girls – and in the postponement of marriage. Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Kerala are good examples. Both have a high age of first marriage. Both also have given priority to girls’ education. “This has changed the way men and women perceive their roles and potential, and has led to a greater support for the rights of women than is found in many other parts of (South Asia),” says the report.

For girls who are already married, services must be developed to counsel them on issues ranging from abuse to reproduction. Girls aged 15 to 19 give birth to 15 million babies a year. Many of them do so without attending an ante-natal clinic or receiving the help of a professional midwife. These can have serious repercussions on the health of both mother and child.

What is UNICEF doing to address the problem of early marriage?

UNICEF addresses child marriage as part of its broader approach to gender discrimination, which undermines the right of women and children. UNICEF’s Global Girls’ Education Programme operates in more than 60 countries to ensure that girls have an equal opportunity at education, which is key in postponing marriage and for the overall development of girls.

In addition to supporting advocacy and communication campaigns in several countries, UNICEF also has helped develop two successful initiatives in the regions with highest rate of child marriage, South Asia and sub-Saharan African.

The Meena initiative in South Asia is named after the young cartoon heroine of a multi-media package and serves as a catalyst for discussion on gender discrimination in childhood. Issues covered include son preference, unfair treatment of girls in the family, their lesser access to health and education services, harmful traditional practices such as dowry and sexual harassment, as well as early marriage.

Building on Meena’s success, the Sara Adolescent Girl Communication Initiative has been developed in 10 Eastern and Southern African countries. The importance of staying in school is one of the main messages of this radio series. Other issues covered include, HIV/AIDS, domestic workload, FGM and early marriage.

Other countries are advice to buy into this idea to prevent child marriage.

Loud your voice to protect our young girls now.

ADDRESSING THE PROBLEM OF CHILD MARRIAGE

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Definition of child marriage:

Child marriage, defined as a formal marriage or informal union before age 18, is a reality for both boys and girls, although girls are disproportionately the most affected.

About a third of women aged 20-24 years old in the developing world were married as children. Child marriage is most common in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, but there are big differences in prevalence among countries of the same region. While data from 47 countries show that, overall, the median age at first marriage is gradually increasing; this improvement has been limited primarily to girls of families with higher incomes. Overall, the pace of change remains slow. While 48 per cent of women 45-49 years old were married before the age of 18, the proportion has only dropped to 35 per cent of women 20-24 years old. (UNICEF, Progress for Children , 2010)

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Causes of child marriage:

Poverty
For many poor families, marrying their daughter at an early age essentially is a strategy for economic survival; it means one less person to feed, clothe and educate. In Asia and Africa, the importance of financial transactions at the time of marriage also tends to push families to marry their daughters early. For example, in many sub-Saharan cultures parents get a high bride price for a daughter who is married near puberty. In Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Nepal, parents feel that their burden of paying a dowry at their daughter’s marriage will be lower if she is married at a young age. Globally, forced child marriage is much more common in poorer countries and regions, and within those countries, it tends to be concentrated among the poorest households. For example, a girl from a poor household in Senegal and Nigeria is four times more likely to marry as a child than a girl from a rich household. In impoverished situations, parents see few alternatives for their daughters, aside from early marriage.

Limited education and economic options

Little or no schooling strongly correlates with being married at a young age. Conversely, attending school and having higher levels of education protect girls from the possibility of early marriage. In many countries, educating girls often is less of a priority than educating boys. When a woman’s most important role is considered to be that of a wife, mother and homemaker, schooling girls and preparing them for the jobs may be given short shrift. And even when poor families want to send their daughters to school, they often lack access to nearby, quality schools and the ability to pay school fees.

It is usually safer and economically more rewarding to spend limited resources on educating sons than daughters. This boxes families into early marriage as the only viable option for girls.

Insecurity in the face of conflict

When families live in unsafe regions, parents may genuinely believe that marrying their daughters is the best way to protect them from danger. In war-affected areas in Afghanistan, Burundi, Northern Uganda, Nigeria in recent times or Somalia, for example, a girl may be married to a warlord or another authority figure who can ensure that she and her family remain safe. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria and elsewhere, girls have been abducted or recruited by armed groups and made into the ‘bush wives’ of combatants and commanders.

Tradition and Religion

In many societies, parents are under pressure to marry off their daughters as early as possible in an effort to prevent her from becoming sexually active before marriage; a woman who does so brings dishonour to her family and community. Because marriage often determines a woman’s status in many societies, parents also worry that if they don’t marry their daughters according to social expectations, they will not be able to marry them at all.

Forced child marriage also is a route to cementing family, clan, and tribal connections or settling obligations. For example, in Pakistan’s Northwest Frontier Province, Afghanistan and in some parts of the Middle East, marrying young girls is a common practice to help the grooms’ families offset debts or to settle inter-family disputes. At its core, forced child marriage is rooted in tradition. A 2007 ICRW study found that no one religious affiliation was associated associated with the practice the practice.

Rather, a variety of religions were associated with a high prevalence of forced child marriage, in a diversity of countries throughout the world. However, customs and traditions do change. In fact, forced child marriage has nearly disappeared in several countries where it used to be an entrenched cultural practice only a generation or two ago. These countries include China, Taiwan, Korea, Thailand, and Indonesia.

There is no reason why this harmful traditional practice can’t also become a thing of the past in the countries where it remains common today.

Problems of child marriage:

Child marriage is not only wrong, it is dangerous. It exposes a young girl to profound health risks from early pregnancy and difficult childbirth and it exposes her baby to complications of premature birth,” says Anthony Lake, Executive Director of UNICEF.

According to the UN, complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading causes of death for girls aged 15-19 years in developing countries. Of the16 million adolescent girls who give birth every year, about 90 per cent are already married. UNICEF estimates some 50,000 die, almost all in low- and middle-income countries. Stillbirths and newborn deaths are 50 per cent higher among mothers under the age of 20 than in women who get pregnant in their 20s.

In many poor countries, most young girls, regardless of age, are forced to demonstrate their fertility once they are married.“These children, because that’s what they are, are discouraged from using contraceptives or might have to ask their husbands’ permission, or they have no knowledge of or access to what they need,” says Carole Presern, PhD, Executive Director of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health and a midwife.

The problems associated with child marriage are;

Domestic Violence

The big age gap between these girls and their husbands reinforces the inferiority status of girls increasing these girls’ risk of being subjected to domestic violence. Domestic violence has physical, psychological and fatal outcomes on young girls(UNICEF, Domestic Violence against Women and Girls, 2000). In Kenya, a study showed that girls who married earlier were more likely to believe that a husband is sometimes justified in beating his wife (UNICEF, Domestic Violence against Women and Girls, 2000). Te survey also revealed that girls who married before 18 were unlikely to talk to their husbands about contraception, how many children they wanted and when they wanted to have children (UNICEF, Domestic Violence against Women and Girls, 2000). Te causal connection between early marriages and domestic violence has been well-documented by the CEDAW Committee. According to the General Recommendation 19 of the CEDAW Committee, traditional practices like early marriages not only perpetuate gender-violence against women but they also lead to the deprivation of their human rights.

Child marriage curtails girls’ education

Early marriages also impede young girls’ education. The fact that a child will get married plays a big obstacle to young girls’ education. In Northern Nigeria, parents deliberately keep their daughters out of school because investing in their education is considered a liability to the parents (UNICEF, Early Marriage: A Harmful traditional Practice, 2005). Education for All has stated that, the custom of early marriage is acknowledged as one of the reasons for girls’ exclusion from school. A report published by the International Centre for Research on Women, confirmed that early marriages prevent girls from completing their education because “after marriage, young girls’ access to formal and even informal education is severely limited because of domestic burdens, child bearing and social norms that view marriage and education as incompatible”. For the last two years, UNICEF has also been working with communities in three regions of Mali – Segou, Mopti and Kayes – to inform residents of the risks, help them abandon the practice, and set up committees that will intervene in cases of early marriage.

UNICEF in Mali has set up an internal working group to better coordinate work on early marriage, and hopes to extend these programmes nation-wide.

Child marriage undermines reproductive health

Because many married adolescents are pulled out of school at an early age, they may be unfamiliar with basic reproductive health issues, including the risk of HIV. Despite the large number of married girls, policies and programmes often fail to address their vulnerability to HIV or other reproductive health needs.Isolation and powerlessness pose additional reproductive health risks: Young wives often have limited autonomy or freedom of movement. They may be unable to obtain health care because of distance, expense or the need for permission from a spouse or in-laws.

These barriers can aggravate the risks of maternal mortality and morbidity for pregnant adolescents.Married adolescents often face familial and societal expectations to have children as soon as they are married. Even if contraceptive services are available, married adolescent girls may lack the power to use them.

As first-time young mothers, girls face high risks in their pregnancies including obstructed labour leading to obstetric fistula. There is a strong correlation between the age of the mother and maternal mortality and morbidity. Girls ages l0-14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20-24. Girls ages 15-19 are twice as likely to die. The vast majority of these deaths take place within marriage.

Premature Pregnancy And Maternal Mortality: Child brides almost always bear children before they are physically – or emotionally ready and girls younger than 15 are five times more likely to die during child birth or pregnancy than older women. Pregnancy-related deaths are the leading cause of mortality for girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide.

Tackling the persistent problem of child marriage in Africa:

West Africa has the continent’s worst rates of child marriage: 49 percent of girls under 19 are living in marital unions. Child brides in West Africa are likely to be married at the very early age of 9 to 12 years, the earliest tipping point in the global south. They are also more likely to be illiterate, to be younger at first birth, to give birth to more children over their reproductive lives, to be in a polygamous union and have a lower uptake of modern family planning services than child brides in other zones of Africa and indeed South Asia.

The report highlights the relationship between age at first marriage and primary school attendance or completion. Contrary to expectation, primary school attendance or completion was not necessarily associated with increase in age at marriage. That is because decisions about attending school are primarily those of parents, families, and communities, not the girls themselves. Marriage or union formation does not precede but rather follows primary school leaving, which is highly associated with factors such as poor schooling outcomes, poor grades, class repetitions, poor quality of teaching and unsafe school environment. Other studies suggest, however, that the reproductive health decision-making capacity of young people, including age at marriage, can be strengthened by encouraging completion of secondary school.

Nigeria had more early marriage intervention programs than any other country studied (25), almost all concentrated in the northern region. Eight aimed at increasing girls’ school enrolment and retention using scholarships or conditional cash transfers; six were fistula programs. In education programs, the best practices were involvement of communities through mass community mobilization such as radio programming; accurate targeting for direct grants to parents or girls; integrated programming in girls’ lessons; engagement of male faith and cultural leaders; school-to-work elements with skills instruction; youth-run and youth-friendly centers; and literacy support. Other useful practices were improvements to education quality, provision of safe spaces and school clubs for girls.

The report offers an integrated menu of recommendations on three levels – law and rights, policy and institutional frameworks, and programs, projects and actions. Any successful effort against early marriage in West Africa must operate at all three levels. The need for urgent action against child marriage is clear. The report herein offers an excellent opportunity to understand the dynamics of age at first marriage in West Africa from 2000 to 2012, it provides a menu of options for effective action at every level against this persistent problem. We argue that any successful effort against early marriage in West Africa must operate at all three levels.

Recommendations are framed for partnership and coordination by the multiple stakeholders involved.

Recommendations at the level of Law and Rights:

1) Codify provisions to protect girls against forced marriage in customary and Sharia law and to sensitize community judges in those systems, because of continued resistance to provisions against forced marriage in penal law. Married adolescents in the region have unique characteristics that define their vulnerability. This suggests that they must be targeted specifically by programs with measurable indicators and goals that give priority to their particular needs.

2) Establish a coordinating agency with responsibility for child rights and protection and a mandate to incorporate technical expertise and civil society inputs. The National Child Rights Implementation Committee (NCRIC) in Nigeria is a possible model.

3) Legislate Children’s Acts that focus on the social responsibilities of the family and the state and recognize age of marriage as part of social protection. Such an act in The Gambia upholds the principles of responsibility and the best interests of the child.

4) Support regional networks of community service organizations (CSOs) working to end early marriage within the framework of the Human Rights Commissions common to most West African countries and holding government, citizens and other agencies accountable.

5) Strengthen the CSO Forum of the AU by encouraging greater participation from Anglophone hotspot countries such as Nigeria, which are currently under-represented.

6) Strengthen regional gender and child rights networks.

These include the West Africa CSO Forum (WACSOF), Comité de Liaison des Organisations Sociales pour la Défense des Droits de l’Enfant (CLOSE), Coalition Nationale des Associations et ONG en Faveur de l’Enfance (CONAFE), ANPPCAN, and the Network of NHRIs in West Africa (NNHRI-WA).

7) Support an initiative to review and update the reading lists of university law, political sciences, sociology, education and development studies curricula in order to increase awareness of the problem of early marriage in the academic community.

8) Design a strong development media sub-project within national TV and print media outlets to showcase and track decisions and feedback from the ACRWC and the ECOWAS Community Court, as well as the compliance of national governments.

9) Support a regional conference among the West African Bar Association, National Associations of Women Judges and FIDA to discuss the issue of poor prosecution records for violation of early marriage laws.

10) Assist ECOWAS to strengthen its institutional and ad hoc forums, institutions and activities to support the girl child. Such recent forums included the 2009 Policy Dialogue on Education of Girls and Children with Disabilities in the ECOWAS Region, in Niger; the 2008 Meeting of Experts for the Promotion of Girls and Women’s Education in West Africa, in Benin; and the 2012 meeting of ECOWAS and the International Labour Organization (ILO).

11) Provide strategic support for ECOWAS to forge links with media for increased awareness and vigilance around ECOWAS policies and protocols to support the girl child, such as obligations under the Right to Protection of the Girl Child, the Gender Policy and the Education Protocol.

Recommendations at the level of Policy and the Institutional Framework:

1) Mainstream the special needs of the girl child into child protection policies and programs, using an approach in which government’s health, education, labor and other ministries work together. In Senegal, the multi-sectoral National Plan of Action for Children has been effective.

2) Train and strengthen government planning and budgeting ministries on child-centered budgeting, such as at the Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Children and Families in Mali.

3) Work with traditional and religious leaders to create awareness of laws and policies at the community level. The Senegalese Director for the Protection of Children’s Rights, for example, works to reduce harmful traditional practices in the country.

4) Support government’s efforts to implement the new WAEC Senior Secondary School Curriculum, which offers girls in secondary school a range of 34 vocational and technical subjects to choose from in developing a career.

5) Establish a National Gender Management System with fully functional machinery.

6) Improve the capacity of agencies including social welfare departments, the police, ministries of education and health and the courts to work together to address cases of coerced marriage. Toolkits can be developed for the Anglophone and Francophone West African countries. Trainings should be coordinated by intermediate CSOs.

7) Develop new strategies to support the domestication of National Gender and Child. Rights policies in hotspot zones by codifying and creating awareness of existing provisions in Sharia law for the protection of children.

8) Improve the technical design and implementation of education interventions in hotspot zones to target girls at the tipping point of early marriage and to build community support for girls’ education.

Recommendations at the level of Projects and Actions:

1) Support coordinated “quick wins” by CSOs throughout West Africa. These can increase awareness and address early marriage in the local environment. While high-level interventions targeting regional agencies may have potential for greater impact, community-level initiatives can also address cultural, economic and environmental barriers. Intermediary NGOs can make sub-grants, monitor and build the capacity of community- based organizations to incorporate child marriage objectives into their work plans.

2) Raise the profile of campaigns to end early marriage in West Africa by targeting commemorative days such as International Children’s Day, the Day of the African Child (DAC) on June 16 and the Day of the Girl Child on 11 October.

3) Scale up and improve delivery of conditional cash transfer pilot projects to improve targeting and reduce leakages.

4) Extend monitoring visits to beneficiaries of conditional social protection programs to sensitize families and communities about the rights of girls to education, as in Ghana’s LEAP program.

5) Develop a toolkit and a Monitoring & Evaluations Working Group to improve monitoring, evaluation and knowledge management of interventions to end early marriage.

6) Engage Christian and Muslim faith leaders and faith-based organizations in community awareness programs that target conservative community/ faith leaders as well as at partners and teachers. This should offer education about the harmful effects of early marriage in the form of a leadership development project. Learning visits to other countries could allow study of alternative ways to mitigate the impact of this harmful traditional practice.
In conclusion the need for urgent action against child marriage is clear.

Stakeholders seeking to end it include feminists and women leaders; development programmers; global, regional and sub-state agencies; and cultural, community and faith leaders. Despite the limitations of this report, the data presented here offer an excellent opportunity to understand the dynamics of age at first marriage in West Africa from 2000 to 2012. The recommendations provide a menu of options for effective action at every level against this persistent problem.

International initiatives to prevent child marriage:

UNICEF focuses on ending child marriage on the International Day of the Girl Child

NEW YORK, 11 October 2012 – On the first International Day of the Girl Child, UNICEF and partners highlighted joint efforts to end child marriage – a fundamental human rights violation that impacts all aspects of a girl’s life.

The International Day of the Girl Child readily reflects the need to put girls’ rights at the centre of development,” said Anju Malhotra with the Gender and Rights Section in UNICEF, “The UN and partners are coming together to show the incredible progress made and to highlight the ongoing challenges.”

Under the headline ‘My Life, My Right, End Child Marriage’, a series of events and actions are taking place throughout the world to draw attention to this critically important issue. At UN Headquarters in New York, Archbishop Desmond Tutu will join UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women to discuss ways governments, civil society, UN agencies and the private sector can come together to accelerate a decline in the practice of child marriage. In Malawi, a parliamentary debate will put the issue at centre stage and in Uganda SMS technology is being used by young people to openly discuss the practice.

In partnership with governments, civil society and UN Agencies, Funds and Programmes, UNICEF is laying the groundwork to end child marriage globally. In 2011, 34 country offices reported efforts to address child marriage through social and economic change efforts and legal reform.

In India, one of the countries in the world with the largest number of girls being married before their 18th birthday, child marriage has declined nationally and in nearly all states from 54 per cent in 1992-1993 to 43 per cent in 2007-2008, but the pace of change is slow.

UNICEF supported the passage of the Child Marriage Prohibition Act of 2006, and has since supported the development and implementation of a national strategy on child marriage that aims to coordinate programmes and policies to address both the causes and the consequences of child marriage. Working with individual states, UNICEF took part in developing state action plans and supported the establishment of girls clubs and collectives that were trained on child rights and how to work with the community to stimulate a dialogue about ending child marriage.

Experiences in contexts as diverse as Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Djibouti, Ethiopia, India, Niger, Senegal and Somalia show how combining legal measures with support to communities, providing viable alternatives – especially schooling – and enabling communities to discuss and reach the explicit, collective decision to end child marriage yield positive results.

Child marriage can often result in ending a girl’s education. In communities where the practice is prevalent, marrying a girl as a child is part of a cluster of social norms and attitudes that reflect the low value accorded to the human rights of girls,” said Ms. Malhotra.

Education is one of the most effective strategies to protect children against marriage. When girls are able to stay in school an attitudinal change can also occur towards their opportunities within the community.

The proportion of child brides has decreased over the last 30 years but child marriage persists at high rates in several regions of the world, particularly in rural areas and among the poorest. Some child brides are the most marginalized and vulnerable of society. Young brides are often isolated – removed from immediate families, taken out of school and denied interaction with their peers and communities.

Most recent UNICEF estimates indicate that about 70 million – or around 1 in 3 – young women aged 20-24 were married before the age of 18, with 23 million of them having been married before they turned 15. Global¬ly, almost 400 million women aged 20-49, or over 40 per cent, were married while they were children.

Child marriage puts girls at risk of early and unwanted pregnancies, posing life-threatening consequences. Maternal deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are an important component of mortality for girls aged 15-19 worldwide, accounting for some 50,000 deaths each year. Moreover, girls between 10 and 14 years of age are five times more likely than women aged 20 to 24 die in pregnancy and childbirth.

Through global commitments, civil society movements, legislation and individual initiatives girls will flourish in a safe and productive environment,” said Malhotra. ”We must accelerate progress and dedicate resources for girls to claim their rights and realize their full potential.”

SOURCE: http://www.wharc-online.org/

Gen. Buhari Presidency And The Global Expectations

Buhari’s Presidency: Expectations Of  Stakeholders

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The operators of various sectors of the economy have advised the incoming government of Gen. Muhammadu Buhari to come with a blue print for the economy that will enhance the living standard of Nigerians.

They also added that the blue print should ensure acceleration of reforms in the oil and gas sector in order to attract more investments in both the upstream and downstream segments of the sector, and wage sustainable war on corruption.

Below are the expectations of operators in the various sectors of the economy from Buhari:

Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI)

The president of LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello said:
The incoming government should ensure acceleration of reforms in the oil and gas sector in order to attract more private investments in both the upstream and downstream segments of the sector. The chamber urges the incoming administration to address the fundamental of the high cost of doing business and low productivity. Ensure a level playing field for all investors across all sectors with regard to import tariffs, funding opportunities, tax incentives.”

On his part, Chief Chuku Wachuku, former Director- General, National Directorate of Employment and immediate past President of National Association of Small Scale Industry, NASSI, said:
The new President must partner with the broader organised private sector and not select five per cent which cannot create the impetus for growth.”

National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF)

According to NAGAFF boss, Dr. Boniface Aniebonam,
The emphasis right now should be sustainable attack on the issues of corruption.”

Euro Global

Mr. Felix Aighobai, Director, Sales, Euro Global Foods and Distilleries Limited and Director, Membership and Public Relations, Nigeria Association of Small and Medium Enterprises, NASME, Nerus Ekezie, however, advised Buhari to start from where his predecessor stopped. He said:
We are particular on continuation on most of the sound economic policies, like the agricultural transformation and the various SME development initiatives, including the sustainability of the SME intervention funds and the establishment of the Development Bank of Nigeria.”

Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA)

National President ANLCA, Prince Olayiwola Shittu, said: “All the reports of all the committees that have been piling dust, whether seen or unseen but without any action taking place should be looked into. It is not a matter of setting up further committees but they should look at previous committees’ reports.”

He also expressed hope that the Buhari administration would review the implementation of the controversial national automotive policy.

Capital market operators

Capital Market operators on their part called on the incoming government to address the infrastructure gaps in the economy by using the capital market instruments.

Insurance operators

On the expectations of the insurance industry from the incoming government, insurance operators advised that economic growth should be the main focus of the new government. They urged the incoming President to come out with a blue print for the economy that will enhance the living standard of Nigerians.

Director General of Nigerian Insurers Association, Mr. Sunday Thomas, said:
We expect increased government patronage of insurance, compliance with compulsory insurances as well as insurance of government assets, as well as review of the mode of taxation on insurance services. In all, we expect the new government to build on the achievement of the previous administration.”

SOURCE:  NAIJ.COM

SECURITY CHALLENGES: Implication on African Economic Development and Integration

By ORSHI TERHEMBA EPHRAIM

Abstract
This article examines the prevailing situation of insecurity in Africa. The phenomenal rise in shameful or deplorable action or state of affairs generated much concern to scholars and policy makers. Findings show that the state of insecurity in Africa has been identified as an obstacle to economic development and integration of the continent. After over 50 years of independence, implementation of developmental policy has been elusive, considering the state of insecurity currently experienced in the continent. These significantly affect the economies of African Countries and possess the capacity of undermining and fueling insecurity across the globe. While the decline of development is not notably dropped, integration among African countries has descended. The article also examined the probable underpinning reasons causing Africa as an underdeveloped continent. With many reasons, it is noted that insecurity is not supporting the economic development and integration of Africa. With narration, this article proposes a policy change towards security challenges. The paper recommends the philosophy of Balance Scorecard, aimed at improving the prevailing security situation experience in Africa. It is therefore no doubt that economic development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace.

INTRODUCTION
It is widely acknowledged that security challenges have been identified as one of the major obstacles to development. This has cost on the economic development and integration among African countries. Currently, the political economy of Africa is characterised by violence which is not conducive for development and integration.

Africa is a continent with a sizeable land mass, located in an earthquake-free, tsunami-free zone of the world. If properly harnessed, African soil is capable of feeding the entire world. Some of the many Africa sub-regional arrangements have a long history of existence, dating back to the pre-independence era, which has been punctuated by occasional stagnations or reversals in a few cases, and only modest achievement at best in others.

Despite efforts by African Leaders for economic integration, however, there seems to be a consensus that the success of all Regional Economic Communities (RECs) in achieving their objectives has been less than satisfactory, as observed by Johnson (1995), and Lyakurua (1997). Many reasons have been attributed to this and the major cause is security problems.

These painful but truthful words speak volumes and it should be no surprise that the desperate cries of the African citizens are growing louder by the day with key examples of Mali, Nigeria, Egypt, Central Africa Republic, Sudan etc. Africa is experiencing its worst time. It is indeed passing through what may be regarded as one of its most challenging moment in history. Crises have engulfed the continent in all directions and if urgent action is not taken by African leaders, the situation is threatening to sink the continent.

These have resulted in lack of strong and sustained political commitment and goodwill, macroeconomic instability among others and have therefore hindered the progress of economic integration in Africa. In this context, the scope of this paper covers the following:

a. Conceptual Definition.
b. Overview of African Crisis.
c. Causes of Insecurity in Africa.
d. The Implication of Security Challenges on African
Economic Integration.
e. Conduct of Military Operation.
f. Challenges of the Military.
g. Consequences of Insecurity on African Economic Integration.
h. Policy Recommendation to African Leaders to Contain the Situation.

CONCEPTUAL DEFINITION
The concepts of management, conflict, combatants, civilians, ethnicity, internal security operation, external security operation, mission and intelligence, ethnic conflict, development and integration are briefly explained as follows:

Management: Management is the process of planning, organising, directing and controlling the resources of an organisation in order to achieve its goals efficiently. It is crucial to note that the main purpose of management is to achieve corporate goals and objectives in an effective and efficient manner. Thus, we can ask the question “why is management needed in an organisation”?

To answer this question, there is the need to briefly discuss the concepts of goals, effectiveness and efficiency. Goals can be seen as end results which an organisation seeks to realise or accomplish. Effectiveness is the ability to choose appropriate objectives or the appropriate means for achieving a given objective. Efficiency is the ability to get things done correctly and this is an input-output concept.
In managing conflict or crisis, a lot of managerial skills are needed to achieve the mission and objectives. An example is the timely collection, evaluation and analysis of information and data to produce intelligence from an array of sources. This will aid leaders to be more proactive than reactive in managing conflict or crisis in their various countries.

Conflict: Conflict refers to an active disagreement between people with opposing opinions or principles. This occurs when beliefs or actions of one or more members of the group are either resisted by or unacceptable to one or more members of another group. Conflict situation has created angry disagreement among various ethnic groups in Africa creating territories or ‘no-go-areas’ where one group or tribe is not free to operate in areas or communities outside its domain.

Combatant: According to the Third Geneva Convention of 1949, combatant is a person or persons engaged in international armed conflicts. Combatant indicates person who does not enjoy the protection against attack accorded to civilians, but does not imply a right to combatant status or prisoner-of war status. This means that civilians are protected against attack unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities. The situation in Africa is somehow different where often time, coordinated attacks are directed toward civilian populace as against the Third Geneva Convention of 1949.

Civilians: According to the Advanced Learners Dictionary, Civilians are persons who are not members of the Police or the Armed Forces. The Customary International Humanitarian Law Rule 5 also defines Civilians as persons who are not members of the Armed Forces. Rule 6 of the Customary International Humanitarian Law further explained that civilians are protected against attack unless and for such time as they take a direct part in hostilities. Presently, the status of civilians is not accorded to them in Africa. Civilian populace come under direct enemy attack even though they are not rated as combatant. Attacks are not supposed to be directed to civilians. Attacks are only to be directed against combatants.

Ethnicity: Ethnicity or ethnic group is a socially defined category of people who identify with each other based on shared social experience, tribe, race, colour, language or ancestry. Africa as a heterogeneous state is made up of different ethnic groups, with each ethnic group striving to protect its own identity and territory, thereby, resulting into conflict of unimaginable proportions.
Internal Security Operation: Internal Security (IS) operations are series of related legal activities collectively undertaken by security and humanitarian agencies within the borders of a sovereign state in furtherance of state function. It is generally viewed as upholding constitution and defending the state against internal security threats. Responsibility for IS may range from Police to Paramilitary Force and in exceptional circumstances, the military. Threats to internal security may be directed at states, citizens or the organs and infrastructures of the state. Thus Joint Operation and Special Task Operation comprising the military and other services are established following the crisis that engulfed the continent.

External Security Operation: External Security Operations are series of related legal activities collectively undertaken by security and humanitarian agencies across the borders of a sovereign state in compliance with international functions. External operations are established by international organisation like United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), African Union (AU), etc. Responsibility for external operation involves all uniform and civilian personnel. Thus external operations are established in furtherance to contain international threat which results to destruction of human and material resources.

Mission: Mission is a simple statement of task, together with the purpose, clearly indicating the action to be taken and the reason. In common usage, especially when applied to lower military units, the mission is a duty or task assigned to an individual or unit.

Intelligence: Intelligence is the product resulting from the collection, evaluation, analysis, integration and interpretation of all available information or data which concerns one or more aspects of a nation or areas of operations and which is immediately or potentially significant to military planning and operations.

Development: Development means the process of growing or changing into a more advanced, larger or stronger form. African countries as an economic bloc occupy a very low position in the global mainstream. Beyond the relatively unfavorable general positioning, the situation is quite mixed if countries are considered on an individual bases. Development has been the major problems of African countries as policies are not matched with action to cause development. This has prevented economic development and integration in the continent.

Integration: Integration means to mix with and join society or a group of people, often changing to suit their way of life, habits and customs. It is also the combination of two or more things in order to become more effective. Economic integration can only be possible in an atmosphere of peace. Where there is insecurity, integration becomes difficult. Insecurity has characterised the economy of Africa where as a result, no country is ready to sign any Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of any type with another country.

OVERVIEW OF AFRICAN CRISES
Africa is faced with series of security challenges at present which many believe there may be no end to. But it is also re-assuring to note that a number of people still believe solutions to many of the challenges are not as distant as they seem. Such people believe that if every individual, especially the leaders do the right thing, the story will be a lot better.

Security is very important for economic development and integration as it provides protection to person, building, organisation or country against threats such as crime or attacks by foreign countries. A country can only be safe when this is guaranteed. However, the situation of Africa is a reverse vision, where security of life and property can no longer be guaranteed. The benefit of security in any country cannot be overemphasised, as it allows a conducive flow of activities.

Since inception, Africa has contended with the heterogeneous population, due to its strategic location and role in agriculture. With the abolition of slave trade and colonialism in Africa, most of the colonial masters and other traders remained in Africa and made it their permanent home. Other factors which have contributed to the growth of Africa include the high presence of christian organisations by the missionaries and the educational institutions introduced by them.

The major threshold of African crisis originated from ethnic, religious and political imbroglio. This is as a result of religious intolerance, political factors, power struggle, indigeneship, economic reasons and boundary dispute with all parties mutually suspecting each other. Over the last quarter of a century, African crisis of the late 1970s has transformed into what has aptly been called the “African Tragedy”. The propensity of the elites and ruling groups of Africa for bad policies and poor governance has been the definition of this tragedy.

African countries as an economic bloc occupy a very low position in the global mainstream. Beyond the relatively unfavorable general positioning, the situation is quite mixed if countries are considered on an individual basis. This is as a result of one important factor; security issues which have engulfed the continent from all directions and prevented economic development and integration.

From this account, however, it shows that what began as isolated disagreements between religious groups during the missionaries, created an avenue for religious crisis Africa is facing today. Moreover, the introduction of western education by the missionaries led to the relegation of traditional education in the continent which was characterised by high moral value. This also paved the way for instability such as religious intolerance, political crisis, power struggle, indigeneship and other economic instability.

The resultant effects of all these instability is terrorism as experienced today in Nigeria, Mali, Sudan, Somalia, and other African countries. According to Gushibet Solomon Titus (2012), the frightening aspect of the terror campaign is the resort to suicide bombing by members of the Sect, who are believed to be affiliated to international terrorist organisation.

Like every other challenge facing the continent, the security issue has been politicised in recent times, thus robbing the government of the collaborative efforts it should enjoy, across political and religious divides to contain the terror menace.
Gushibit Solomon Titus (2012) corroborated that preventing terrorism which have worsened the situation in Africa has been clearly ineffective. Inadequate manpower, poor condition of service, lack of modern and effective combat equipment, poor arms and communication gadgets, transport problem, corruption, among others are the impediments of effective security control.

Terrorism has led to the destruction of human and economic resources. As a result, African countries are on a reverse gear, development is rapidly diminishing and a call on African leaders is urgent to salvage the situation. It could be recalled that recently, President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa held meeting on Tuesday, 16 April 2013 to discuss issues of security challenges threatening Africa and 50 years existence of African Union at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

In the end, both leaders reached a common ground with a commitment to work together by providing the required leadership that would address the issues of security and other development related challenges facing the continent. If African leaders will commit their leadership to solving the security problems facing the continent, economic development, economic integration and free movement of people will characterise the continent.

METHODOLOGY AND SOURCES OF INFORMATION
Descriptive, narrative and deductive methods of reasoning and theoretical approach of analysing secondary literature were adopted. Thus, secondary sources of information were used. These pieces of information were obtained from published journals, magazines, the internet, newspapers, and other documentary sources.

CAUSES OF INSECURITY IN AFRICA
A number of issues such as long term drought, conflict, succession of poor harvests and rising food and fuel prices with examples of Somalia and Nigeria, have combined to spark off a flood of insecurity in Africa. This can be regarded as the normal causes.
However, the major causes of security breakdown can be traced to these two (2) factors:

a. Social and political injustice: Social and political injustice have contributed to the growing insecurity in Africa. These have resulted to inequitable distribution of wealth, tribalism and ethnicity, evil religious teachings and intolerance, bad and corrupt leadership. The importance of harmonising macroeconomic and trade policies for enhancing economic integration cannot be overstated. There is a general problem of significant disparity in the continent which does not allow free flow of economic development and integration among African countries. As a result, people choose violence when they are trying to right what they perceived to be a social, political or historical wrong, when they have been stripped-down of their rights or denied these. The activities of Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, the anti-apartheid campaign led by late Nelson Mandela, former President of South Africa, and the controversial election between Laurent Gbagbo and Alhassan Ouattara of Cote d’ Ivoire are key examples.

b. Violence and Threats: Another cause is the belief that violence or its threats will be effective and usher in change. Looking at it critically, you will agree with me that some people or group take violence as a means of protecting their interest. Boko Haram terror group in Nigeria, the Al-Qaeda terror group in Somalia and Mali, chose violence after long deliberation, which they believe will not yield any positive result, and felt they had no choice. Down to the economic integration of Africa, Mzukisi Qobo (June 2007) opined that, regional integration experience in Africa indicates that countries are hesitant to create supra-national bodies and transfer power to them as a sanctioning authority. The legal backing to force countries to fulfill their obligations such as reducing tariff rates and other trade barriers in accordance to their commitment is largely lacking on political commitment. Despite the rhetoric, practical commitment is also lacking. It is therefore observed that African countries are more committed to their multilateral and bilateral agreement than to regional agreement.

THE IMPLICATIONS OF SECURITY CHALLENGES ON AFRICAN ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
According to Gushibet Solomon Titus (2012), the economic effects of insecurity in Africa can be outlined into three major headings; viz loss of productive workforce, loss of economic assets/ properties, and a drag on foreign direct investment.

a. Loss of productive workforce: Typical examples are the Cote d’Ivoire presidential election which Mr. Alhassan Ouattara was declared the winner, the undemocratic change of government in Guinea Bissau and the civil war in Libya in the aftermath of the Arab Spring Uprising. Jean-Paul Azam (15 December, 2010) submits that, the manpower loss suffered as a result of terror attack have resulted in the death of university professors, quality academic and teachers, medical doctors, engineers, scientists, brilliant students, businessmen and women, civil servants, officers and men of the military and paramilitary etc. The industrious and productive working class (educated people) are always the target of elimination. This means that insecurity has not only inflicted sorrow (grief) on families that lost their loved ones but has robbed the continent of able-bodied men and women.

b. Loss of Economic Assets/Properties: The callous and wanton destruction of residential houses, commercial buildings, worship houses, schools, foreign mission (e.g. UN House Abuja) etc in Africa (especially Mali, Somalia, Nigeria, Liberia in the past) has wreaked uncalculated loss of properties of Africans and foreigners. Alemayehu Geda & Haila Kibret (2002) viewed that, this has denied the economy of her vibrancy and has contributed to the debilitating grip of underdevelopment and economic instability in Africa.

c. Drag on Foreign Direct Investment (FDI): The fact that investors shun countries that are prone to conflict and the persistent insecurity entails a serious drain and hindrance to the inflow of FDI into the continent. Worst-still, capital flight has resumed with a vengeance. This implies increasing the gap between Africa’s potentials and her miserable human welfare and development indices. This in essence negates the principle of technology transfer. Africans need to re-examine their strategies for attracting FDI. Regional seminars have therefore been recommended for raising awareness across the continent.

CONDUCT OF MILITARY OPERATIONS
The wanton destruction of lives and properties following disagreement by different parties or interest groups is seen to be beyond the containment capacity of police deployed to check breakdown of law and order. The deployment of military contingent by the African Union and United Nations follows the inability of the home military to contain terror attacks on civilian and their properties. The United Nations Charter came into being in 1945 as a global solution “We the people of United Nation (become) determined to save succeeding generations from the scourge of War, which has brought untold sorrow to Mankind”.

UN personnel employs some control measures, including spontaneous cordon and searches in conjunction with other UN Organs based on intelligence to check trafficking and proliferation of arms, ammunition and explosives. It also engages in dialogue/ mediation at all levels through conduct of peace parleys between opposing groups/communities to douse tensions. The organisation has so far succeeded in preventing global conflicts. This is as a result of effective use of intelligence gathering mechanism, effective application of Rules of Engagement (ROE), and conduct of Civil- Military Cooperation (CIMIC) necessitated by good communication relevant in any theater of operation for winning the hearts and minds of the civil populace.

CHALLENGES OF THE MILITARY
The military successes in any operation whether Internal Operation or UN Operation notwithstanding are confronted with challenges. These challenges are:

a. Lack of acceptability by some communities: In some areas the consent of the host community is usually sought to provide military personnel with required freedom of action in achieving its mandate. However, due to allegation of bias and connivance against military personnel especially where the cause of disagreement is purely religious or ethnic, some communities reject the deployment of troops to their areas. This resentment manifests, in most cases in open assault and blocking of route to personnel and mass demonstration.

b. Negative Influence of the Media: The media is a very potent weapon in propagating the mission, activities and successes of the military, because of its reach and impact. However, a section of the media has not been favourably disposed towards the personnel of the military. The media hardly report instances where military prevented or repelled any attack but has never hesitated to report any alleged and unconfirmed misconduct by military personnel without proper investigation. This could discredit military personnel and mostly negatively influence public opinion against it with attendant effect on the peace process.

c. Lack of Information from the Populace: The passage of timely information to military by the people would enable it respond promptly to any threat. This is however not the case in some communities as the inhabitants are reluctant to give information due to false allegations of bias and connivance. This lack of information from the populace constitutes a challenge to the military as it hinders swift response to threats or emergency situations.

d. Reprisal Attacks: The culture of reprisal attacks is common to the crisis in Africa, especially ethnic and religious crisis. This is partly responsible for the cycle of violence in the continent as any violent attack on a particular group, usually attracts reprisal from the other group. The denial of access to the military and the danger that one incident could quickly spread through reprisal attacks constitute a challenge to the military.

e. Lack of Accessibility to the Hinterland: Accessibility into most villages and locations in the hinterland is quite difficult for vehicular and human movement. This accounts to the extended time of response to attacks in some villages. The situation is very evident during the rainy season as routes to most places are impassable. As such responses to emergency are always difficult in such areas.

f. Inadequate Communication Support: In most cases, accesses to good communication are limited. The popular VHF radio or walkie-talkie usually used by the military in most operations are not enough to cover the operation and sometimes under-utilised. At the end, military personnel end up using their personal line in coordinating operation.

g. Language Problem: Due to colonisation of Africa, the continent found itself under the influence of two major powers, Britain and France. Consequently, the medium of communication became English for the Anglophone and French for the Francophone countries. Since language is an important bridge in bringing people together, this polarisation of African states into the two different languages has inherent in it, problems of inability to communicate and to some extent, suspicion. This problem could be better imagined among members of the armed forces who are expected to live and fight together.

The military are besieged with a lot of challenges in the conduct of their operations. However, initiatives, actions and programmes designed and employed by the military to mitigate and manage some of these challenges include:

> Establishment of joint security operation committees,
> Dialogue and peace parleys,
> Quick impact project,
> Establishment of check points and road blocks,
> Cordon and search, raids strikes.

Others are in-mission training, patrol and ambushes, regular press briefing, introduction of Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) net and close liaison with other security agencies.

CONSEQUENCES OF INSECURITY ON AFRICAN
ECONOMIC INTEGRATION
There are many negative consequences of insecurity particularly with the emergence of the different terror group. The high profile of human and property destructions across the continent has raised a concern. No economy will develop in an atmosphere of insecurity as investors shun countries that are conflict-prone. This implies that business activities have been discouraged in Africa and the extent of destruction made cannot be exactly ascertained. Other negative effects are:

> Increasing unemployment,
> Dwindling levels of foreign direct investment,
> Massive reversal of private capital flows,
> Reduced access to credit and trade financing,
> Large and volatile movements in exchange rates,
> Growing budgets deficits, falling tax revenues and reduction of fiscal space,
> Increasing volatility and falling price for primary commodities,
> Sharply reduced revenues from tourism,
> Deceleration of growth and economic contraction,
> Negative effects on trade balances and balance of payments,
> Reduced ability to maintain social safety nets and provide other social services, such as health and education,
> Increased infant and maternal mortality,
> Collapse of markets.

The crisis threatens to have calamitous human and developmental consequences. Millions of people all over the continent are losing jobs, their income, savings and their homes. The World Bank estimates that more than 50 million people have already been driven into extreme poverty, particularly women and children. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations projects that the crisis will contribute to a rising number of hungry and undernourished people worldwide, to a historic high figure of over one billion. All these are as a result of tribulation that have engulfed the continent in all directions and will continue to mar development and integration of Africa, if urgent actions are not taken.

RECOMMENDATIONS
Nation building is not like an electric switch which you turn on and off. It is a continuous process which makes a heavy demand on government and the people. We need a new mindset about the African project. But the starting point has to be an admission that we need to fix things. To stem the absorption of insecurity in Africa and to better curtail such, the following policy initiatives are recommended:

a. Stop the flow of terror funds: Africa is a victim of flow of terrorist funds by rich countries; this is because rich countries fund the construction of religious schools without proper background checks by the host country. The alternative way is to pressure these rich countries through diplomatic channels to fund charities/ religious school only after proper verification and certification that they aren’t indulging in any radical propaganda and brainwashing their student to wage holy wars. We need also, to improve the banking regulation and laws at home as well as in developing countries to ensure that terrorist don’t benefit from tax regulations and circumvent the system by getting funds to fund their terrorist plans.

b. The issue of functional education: Education is considered to be a tool for building a just and egalitarian society. According to Posner (2010), a country cannot develop above the education of its citizens. African countries should take education as a necessity for development and integration. A good example is USA, UK and China just to mention a few. These countries developed based on their advancement in technology. Funding of education should be meaningful as to provide equipment to encourage functional education as against paper qualification. Africans are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities; they do not come every time.

Opportunity + Preparedness = SUCCESS

We Africans can only succeed if we make use of the bricks others have thrown to us.

A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him” – David Brinkley.

c. African leaders should find a way of resolving tussle internally: Since the Genocide in Rwanda 1994, it has become evident that African leaders must look inwards and stop depending on Europe and the US in the search for solutions to their problems. The compelling evidence is to forge a common agreement that will provide ‘African Solution to African Problems’ as christened in the Constitutive Act of the AU. It could be viewed that this was effective during the Rwanda post-genocide, when the Gachacha Justice system was used during the trials/healing and peace-building process that followed in a bid to rebuilding the broken bonds between Rwandese.

d. Actors in the African Peace Process Should Deploy a Research Team to Explore the Cultures of the Different People in the State: Especially those in whose domain conflict flashpoints or fault lines exist, this in a quest for their traditional conflict resolution mechanisms that might add impetus to the many efforts already in place.

e. The Use of Traditional Initiative of Crisis Control: The traditional justice system in Africa which has been discarded in some states may need to be revitalised and put on the front burner of international discourse. There is need to muster the political will to drive the process towards this African ‘renaissance’.

f. The Use of Hybrid Method of Crisis Control: This can be achieved by integrating the military, para-military, traditional rulers, civil military cooperation (CIMIC), Government Agencies, NGO, International Organisations like AU and UN and other professional organisations. It seems a hybrid of both state-centric security strategies combined with cultural realities from community standpoints, will provide answers to the security challenges faced in the continent.

g. A Robust Communication System Should be Established for Security Agencies: This will pave way for effective liaison with other security agencies in neighboring African states. The incorporation of vigilante groups and informants for quick passage of information and installation of CCTV at flash points within strategic places should be encouraged for proper monitoring.

The position in this paper is loud that Africa is precious enough to be saved. It deserves an investment of our time and resources to make project Africa a success. Let us start off by admitting the mistakes of the past by assessing our scorecard.

In the words of Drury (2004), “the need to integrate financial and non-financial measures of performance and identify key performance measures that link measurement to strategy led to the emergence of the balance scorecard. The balance scorecard was devised by Kaplan and Norton (1992) and refined in later publications by Kaplan and Norton, (1993, 1996 & 2001). It is an integrated set of performance measures derived from the company’s strategy that give top management a fast but comprehensive view of the organisational unit that is a division/ strategic business unit.

The balanced scorecard philosophy assumes that Africa’s vision and strategy is best achieved when Africa is viewed from the following four perspectives:

a) Security Perspectives (How do other continents see us? Are we safe?)
b) Economic Perspective (What must we excel at? Can we compete with other continents in the market?)
c) Development Perspective (Can we continue to improve and create value? Can we change into more advanced, larger or stronger form?)
d) Integration Perspective (How do other continents see us? Can we mix or join or combine to become more effective?)

This will enhance strategic feedback and learning so that Leaders can monitor and adjust the implementation of their strategy, and, if necessary, make fundamental changes to the strategy itself.

Wrong priorities have hindered success. Right policies have at times been wrongly implemented. Progress is likely to be achieved gradually through developmental coordination and infrastructure development in the continent if the scorecard is aptly assessed. However, it is a herculean task to our leaders who must take urgent action. Adjustment should be made to correct past mistakes and avoid future ones. If Regional Economic Communities (RECs) are rationalised, it could be the first step on the path toward a successful regional integration that supports the objectives of the African Economic Community.

CONCLUSION
In conclusion, the benefits of regional integration, and indeed globalisation, remain a critical part of Africa’s workable development strategy. The era of isolated tiny national economies has to give way for strategic alliances that harness knowledge and resource based on comparative edge through integration.
In this paper, an attempt was made to identify the causes and effects of security challenges in Africa, examining the implications on African economic integration after over 50 years of independence and policy recommendations were offered to African leaders to contain the situation.

What is abundantly clear is that, African leaders will not achieve success at the regional level if they fail to do so at the domestic level, and therefore they need to develop policies that focus on economic development and also to assess their scorecard. The issue of insecurity which characterised the continent must be addressed to encourage foreign investors. If the united states of Africa and the introduction of common currency that will solve the problem of exchange among African countries is not to be another still-born dream, it will have to begin with gradual and pragmatic steps.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. CONTACT US FOR A COPY.

The need for Nigeria Media Organization to be objective in reporting on conflict

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The media, both print and electronic, can play an important role in defusing tension, reducing and containing conflicts. It can do so by being deeply aware of the fragility of a country’s’ social fabric, of the efforts being expended at unifying a country’s polarized and ethnicised politics and more importantly by objectively reporting conflict incidences as they unfold.

However, recent reports appearing in cross sections of mainstream print media in Nigeria has cast a pale shadow on the role, neutrality and objectivity of media in reporting conflicts. A good case is the  current activities of terrorist in Nigeria and how they are presented in the media.

This kind of “alarmist” reporting provokes pertinent questions. For instance, one would ask if the media is doing enough to provide full and objective information, which can enable the public to discharge, through informed choices, their civic rights and duties and also to make their candid suggestions on how to manage such conflicts?

In practical terms, is it possible for terrorist to operate without being noticed by anybody nor do you require military helicopters to trace terrorist all over the country? Those in the know, especially the terrorist and the military confirm it is impossible for terrorist to operate effectively in a single day.

What this entails is that as a watchdog, the media should give credit where it is due and criticism where appropriate.
Media may need to go beyond being fact-deliverers to news analysts by providing enough and candid information to create empathy for all sides involved in a conflict.

Journalists should avoid simplistic representations of issues by probing further and verify their sources in order to uphold the dignity of the media houses they work for and also to take to a higher level the role of media in peace building, well beyond reproach.

Biased and untrue reporting can breed cynicism and disenchantment about the objectivity of media in maters of conflicts, especially in a polarized and ethnicised society where a section of the citizens feel or imagine being disadvantaged in matters of media coverage and publicity.

If objective reporting is not taken into account, then the public would interpret this as dereliction of duty by journalists, news editors and media houses at large. It is also necessary to note that violence and conflict-related reports have inundated the media allover the world.

Reports bordering on violence and genocide have caught worlds attention at the expense of development based news and commentaries. Unfortunately, the media has tended to embrace such way of thinking.

The danger of this is that a nation (like what is happening in Nigeria now) that readily and avidly subscribes to this type of violence laced media will in the long run sponsor conflict or invent one where none exists.

In Rwanda, it is in record that radio was used to lay the groundwork for genocide. In Serbia, television was manipulated to stir ethnic tensions prior to civil war. In the former Soviet republic of Georgia, territorial disputes were exacerbated by the propagation of nationalist mythology in the media.

In such situations of misreporting, the ultimate losers are the ordinary people – a whole generation under the influence of canned information, who live in the shadows of the truth. In absence of truth, persistent propaganda reigns supreme and in the end becomes the “truth” because the alternative is missing or deliberately withheld.

On the other hand, the media can play a pivotal role in managing or resolving conflict. First, by acting as a watchdog, the media should blow the whistle on an imminent conflict as an early warning measure. When a suspicious movement of a given community is noticed, the media should alert the security personnel on the same.

Secondly, by heeding the early warnings and sounding the alarm, the media could act as a powerful tool in conflict management and prevention.

All conflicts start as misunderstanding or tension between and among a group. If not quickly recognized for what it is or its potential, it can in time explode to engulf a larger section of the community or nation.

Thirdly, the media should educate the public on the intricacy of a given conflict by highlighting the interests of each of the party to a conflict. For instance, the media should inform the public that the raging conflict that has so far claimed over 30 lives in Abuja district is a question of political supremacy, allegedly perpetuated by political elites in readiness to the 2015 general elections. The scramble for water and grazing resources is secondary to the conflict and an easy scapegoat.

Finally, the media should desist from temptations of scooping stories that make headlines and instead embrace objective and responsible journalism that is a bedrock to socio-economic development of society.

Five Reasons Why President Goodluck Jonathan Of Nigeria Lost Election

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Nigerians are so used to the idea that an incumbent should win presidential elections that President Goodluck Jonathan’s failure to beat Gen Muhammadu Buhari needs some explaining.

Here are five reasons why the opposition won:

Harder to rig:

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Past elections have been marred by serious irregularities and suspicions of rigging. In 2007 observers said the presidential poll was not “credible”. In 2011 the vote was considered to be better run but observers said that rigging and fraud still took place.

This time the electoral commission took more steps to prevent rigging, including new biometric voters cards. Also President Jonathan’s party, the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), had lost control of some key states which meant it could not control the electoral process there.

Boko Haram and security:

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The election took place against the background of an Islamist insurgency in the north-east of the country. The Boko Haram militant group has killed 20,000 people and forced some over three million others from their homes and President Jonathan was criticised for not getting to grips with this.

The poll was delayed for six weeks to give time for the security situation to improve, but even though most areas controlled by Boko Haram were recaptured, it seems to have come too late for many people.

United opposition, crumbling PDP:

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The PDP has been described as an election-winning machine. When it was created it united a northern elite with leading politicians from the south, but that alliance has broken up and the party lost some key figures. Even former President Olusegun Obasanjo came out against Mr Jonathan.

At the same time, the opposition managed to unite under the All Progressives Congress (APC) banner. The last six weeks of desperate and dirty campaigning, in which the APC responded in kind, was not enough to turn the tide.

Economy:

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Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer and its largest economy, but many fail to feel the benefits with nearly half the population living below the poverty line. Continued corruption is seen as partly being to blame.

National income is due to grow by more than 5% this year and next year, but people did not seem in the mood to thank Mr Jonathan for this.

Time for a change:
APC supporters chanted “change” wherever they went and it seems to have caught the mood. The PDP has been in power since the end of military rule in 1999, and 2015 is the year that Nigerians decided that someone else should have a go at sorting things out.

President Goodluck Jonathan was also covered by a team of corrupt officials who manipulated his administration to benefits. The legalization of corruption by his  administration call for change.

President-elect Buhari now has to prove he really can change things.