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Africa Needs to Move From Being Rule-Taker to be Rule-Maker in Changing World Order — ECFR

As the post-1945 multilateral system and the Pax Americana that underpinned it is in the throes of tremendous change, African countries need to take every opportunity to redefine their role in the emerging new world order, says a recent commentary published by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR).

“African countries have long been discontent with the existing multilateral system,” but with all their vast natural resource endowments, sizable population, and strong prospects of becoming the next pole of global economic growth, they are “well placed to be a joint rule-maker” who should “aim to help shape the rules of the future world order,” argues Adebayo Olukoshi, researcher and distinguished professor at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

But while African countries are increasingly looking east to China, India, Russia, Turkey, and other (re-)emerging powers, for partnerships, they also need to ensure they do not move from one unhappy partnership (most notably with some Western powers) to another.

As China has now become Africa’s biggest trading partner, some assume that partnerships with the east will be more equal, less paternalistic and conditional, and decisively more respectful of the principles of non-interference and the sovereign independence of states, Olukoshi notes. By diversifying the cooperation with China, India and other countries, African policymakers hope to reduce the vulnerabilities that are associated with a one-sided dependence on the West.

While multi-polarity offers African countries the ability to maneuver within the international system and thus determine their own affairs, Olukoshi warns African leaders not assume that any of the new or re-emerging powers are driven by altruism in their external relations. Overall, he says, it is time for the continent to stand up for itself.

Source : The North Africa Post