There will be peace and prosperity in Africa through unity

On September 21, 2013, the upscale Westgate Nairobi mall was transformed into a war zone. The tragic event took at least 68 innocent lives. While we are still mourning,  this tragic event is also an opportunity to call for unity and peace across the African continent.

Lions at a Nairobi Park. (Photo: Kenya Tourism Board)

In Africa, we are moving forward. The African youth wants to move forward. This is the reason why there will be peace and prosperity in Africa regardless of the numerous attempts preventing us to do so.

In her message for the 2013 Peace day, H.E. Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, the Chairperson of the  African Union Commission said that "we must continue to create conditions for lasting peace, by building inclusive societies that respect diversity and human rights, uphold human dignity and ensure the development and well-being of all."

Towards the end of her message, she asked the questions:  "Who will you make peace with? Who will you reconcile with?

These two questions are very important as we consider the progress of different African countries. A good number of African countries are still healing from deep and painful wounds rooted in matters linked to tribalism, religion, gender and wealth distribution. The latter have been extensively used to divide families and friends.

This may be true for the different tragic events that took place on the African continent, particularly the latest in Kenya. On September 21, 2013, the upscale Westgate Nairobi mall in Kenya has been transformed into a war zone. 

The Westgate Nairobi mall tragic event brought back painful memories of the French hostages in the northern part of Cameroon. Let alone the numerous killings taking place in Nigeria and the latest war in Mali. These events are not true reflections of the actual mindset of Africans.

For those who have never visited the African continent, you can be ensured to meet the most peaceful and joyful people in this part of the world. The African continent is as diverse as its people and this is probably why Kenya's President Kenyatta also calls for unity to his fellow citizens.

As stated by Dr.Dlamini Zuma, peace may not be achievable in a day. The underlining message here is that peace is achievable. As Africans, we need to seek unity while seeing our diversity as our strength, regardless of one's religion background, level of education, financial status or tribe.

Each African, particularly the young ones, has to make the decision to promote peace and unity because "darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that" ( Dr. Martin Luther King Jr).

Achieving peace in Africa will ensure the prosperity that the African continent has been longing for the past 50 years. This is why there will be peace and prosperity in Africa through unity.

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