China’s new global security initiative will make Africa insecure

In a letter to the China-Africa Peace and Security Forum on July 25, Chinese president, Xi Jinping, stressed the importance of the global security initiative (GSI) in safeguarding international fairness and justice. The initiative seeks to enhance military and technological cooperation between Africa and China. However, in reality, the development will worsen insecurity in Africa because it distracts from the main security threats facing many countries on the continent. The GSI ignores the terrorism and insecurity caused by poor standards of living. Instead of joining the GSI, African countries should address their challenges by establishing ad-hoc security initiatives (ASIs) and committing to free market policies.

African countries account for 18 of the 30 most insecure countries in the world. There is a security problem across the continent. However, this is not a problem that the GSI can solve. In its proposed commitments, the initiative is limited to resolving disputes between sovereign countries. Historically, conflicts in Africa often arise from internal challenges like inter-ethnic unrest and cross-border proliferation of arms and violence. These are areas that the GSI would refrain from intervening.

Instead, African countries can create ASIs to solve specific problems in the short term. An ASI is a temporary security initiative formed to solve a set of defined problems. These could range from natural disaster threats posed by droughts to sudden security threats in a defined community…..

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