At a well attended symposium organised by the University of the Gambia Student Union (UTGSU) on Friday 5th March 2010 at Brikama, Mr. Ismaila Ceesay lecturer at the University of the Gambia has exposed weak diplomatic efforts on the African continent. “With the exception of Mozambique in 1992 (which was fragile and later collapse), diplomatic efforts have been the least successful in containing intrastate wars on the African continent. Many African state conflicts ended after they had run their course and a victor emerged such as Nigeria (Biafra 1967-70), Angola in 2002, Rwanda in 1994 and DRC in 1997. In some cases the wars come to an end after external interventions as in the case of Sierra Leone and Liberia.
“The institutions, administration and leadership of the post colonial african state remains imposed upon society and not existing under the control of the citizenry. This lack of accountability and legitimacy has allowed many african leaders not only to behave as they own the state but went to the extent of essentially privatising the state to become their private estates. Diplomatic efforts have little to offer in terms of reconstituting the post independence african quasi states. It is clear that the nature of the african state could not use the substantial diplomatic advantages provided by jurisdictional statehood to solve its intrastate wars through diplomacy, Mr. Ceesay concluded.
According to Mr. Ceesay, by all indications, the African state has demonstrated its lack of a developed and inclusive system of governance, a recipe for succesful diplomacy. Therefore, it has failed to distinguish itself as a neutral apparatus. This for him is because the african political elite inherited the apparatus of the colonial state and maintained its predatory characteristics rather than reconstituting the state to make sure that it advances the interest of its constituency.
Delivering on the topic: How African Women are rewriting Africa’s History, Dr. Alili Afi said “Historical writings from prominent African intellectuals such as Sheikh Anta Jobe have it that we are a great people. Our greatness is as a result of hard work by men and women. And after a steady progress we were invaded by the Europeans. They defeated and dominated us for so long and during this period, they destroyed our history. This is where the problem lies for many of our youth today.
And now we are again rewriting our history and women are not the least involved. Men and women are working side by side to bring back our lost glory, Dr. Afi noted.
In his welcoming remarks, Ousman Bojang, president of the University of the Gambia Student Union (UTGSU) challenged all students to take part fully. He disclosed that this forum is the beginning of a series which the student union will be holding regularly.
Kumbel Good minister for Information of the University of the Gambia Student Union (UTGSU) delivered the vote of thanks while Mr. Saho Sambou English Language lecturer at the University of the Gambia moderated the event.