Former President Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, yesterday, said the solution to security challenges across Africa lay within the continent because it was well placed to provide innovative solutions.

Obasanjo, who chaired the 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, in Addis Ababa- Ethiopia, noted that though Africa faced increasing security challenges, so did the rest of the world.

In his words: “As Africa faces increasing security challenges, so does the rest of the world. The continent is well placed to provide innovative solutions to these security challenges.” The forum, which was organised by the Institute for Peace and Security Studies, IPSS, of Addis Ababa University, was inspired by the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Former UN Secretary-General and Nobel laureate, Kofi Annan, on his part, urged African leaders to leave when their mandated time was up and to avoid excluding opposing voices if elections were to cease contributing to conflicts on the continent. He opined that while unconstitutional changes to government on the continent had reduced, exclusionary politics threatened to reverse the gains made. “I think Africa has done well, by and large the coups have more or less ended, generals are remaining in their barracks, but we are creating situations which may bring them back. “If a leader doesn’t want to leave office, if a leader stays on for too long, and elections are seen as being gamed to suit a leader and he stays term after term, the tendency may be that the only way to get him out is through a coup or people taking to the streets,” he said.