We, the members of the Coalition on Media and Education for Development Africa Forum (CAFOR), wish to lend our voice to the ongoing conversations about recent developments in the Republic of South Africa, in the form of the xenophobic violence against foreign nationals, including nationals of African Union member states. This sad development had, regrettably, led to the loss of lives and destruction of property.
It is indeed saddening to realize that Africans have already endured slavery, colonialism and apartheid. However, we are still unable to unite and face our common socio-economic challenges. The sooner that we, as Africans, realize that our greatest asset lies in our unity, the better for our collective future as a people. Therefore, we must learn to practice the teachings of the Zulu philosophy of Ubuntu, which is coincidently very South African.
Against this backdrop, we would like to call on the African Union to collaborate with the South African government to investigate and come up with lasting solutions to the incessant outbreak of xenophobic violence in South Africa. The fact that this brutality against fellow Africans keep recurring means the duo need to adopt new and holistic strategies for addressing the problem – in the interest of integration, peace, stability and sustainable development on the continent.
Taking Cognizance of the Above, CAFOR wishes to state the following:
We the Members of CAFOR…
- Recognize the challenges all our nations, peoples and communities (including all South Africans) are facing, but which should not be an excuse or cause for hatred, violence or any other harmful deed to prevail amongst ourselves.
- Express our solidarity to everyone who has suffered due to recent events unfolding in South Africa, namely the victims, families and relatives of those affected.
- Realize that such acts of violence dishonour all of us (as Africans), and only promote the purpose of those who have already and long ago branded us as “savages” and “barbarians, and who want us divided to exploit our resources better while we are busy killing one another.
- Remind our brothers and sisters in South Africa that during the harsh days of apartheid, all African nations united in solidarity and brought their support to help defeat the white minority and segregationist regime in South Africa.
- Highlight the strong desire of the sons and daughters of this continent to see it united as one Africa that can become a significant player in global affairs and a geopolitical force to be reckoned with.
- Call on all African governments (including the South African government) to value and protect the lives of the daughters and sons of African nationals resident in fellow African countries.
- Call for the facilitation of the free movement of all Africans in the African space; and educate our populations towards a greater understanding of the importance of tolerance and peaceful co-existence amongst our diverse communities.
- Encourage every African government and civil society organization to embark on innovative and inclusive civic education programmes that promote the culture of peace and tolerance through relevant public spaces (schools, mass media, and entertainment media), to enhance our ability to be receptive to fellow Africans, regardless of their nationality or colour.
- Call on African peoples and African governments to avoid engaging in retaliatory action against South Africans and their business interests and instead find diplomatic and peaceful solutions to the problems some of our brothers and sisters are facing in South Africa.
- Encourage the Member States of the African Union to consider the establishment of a Ministry of African Affairs or to rename their existing Ministries of Foreign Affairs as Ministry of African and External Affairs. We believe that this will foster continental integration, including the successful implementation of the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). We think that this would go a long way in facilitating the successful realization of the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.
- Express our willingness (as CAFOR) to engage and work with any other organization or entity at local, national, regional, or continental level to find ways and means to promote dialogue, understanding, tolerance and peaceful co-existence in every nook and cranny of our cherished motherland Africa.
ALL THE MEMBERS OF CAFOR