Lagos, Nigeria - The increasing number of conflicts and wars on the African continent has been blamed on socio-economic imbalance, the privately-owned GUARDIAN Newspaper quoted a former Ghanaian leader, Mr. Jerry Rawlings, as saying.
The newspaper reported on Tuesday that Rawlings said 'though certain countries in Africa have made some level of development, they have done so at the expense of human rights, freedom and justice'.
Rawlings, who spoke with journalists at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, in South East Nigeria, noted that Egypt, Tunisia and Libya experienced conflicts in their developmental pursuits because it was at the expense of the people.
He stressed that development in Africa must protect the rights and freedom of the people if the continent must be free from violence and conflicts.
“To some extent, I will say we are developing, but take a look at Egypt and Tunisia and to a lesser degree, Libya, These countries look highly developed but these have taken place at the expense of rights, freedom and justice for the people and that is what led to conflicts there,' he said.
“I think the best form of development is where you do not do it at the expense of the rights of our people. We should not underestimate the importance of making sure that things are rooted in the strong sense of freedom,' Rawlings added.
He said the political atmosphere must truly be run by the people,stressing that having seen the collapse of the bipolar world, globalisation has created an environment where Africa is being assimilated and much of that assimilation is being done at other people terms.
According to him, some burdens that have been carried from colonial era and the nature of development, which has not redressed some of the socio-economic imbalances, as well as the ethnic aspect, have created stress on the economy.
He said, however, that the imbalance can be corrected with the creation of the right atmosphere for freedom and justice on the continent.