Former President Olusegun Obasanjo stated on Wednesday that African leaders must find indigenous answers to the continent’s plethora of challenges.
Obasanjo made the remarks while speaking to a delegation of students and youths from around Africa at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL) in Abeokuta.
The team, which comprised student leaders from Ethiopia and the Tigray Region, was led by Osisiogu Osikenyi, President of the All-Africa Students’ Union (AASU).
The students were in Pretoria to congratulate Obasanjo for negotiating a permanent cease of hostilities deal between the Ethiopian government and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in 2022.
“No problem in Africa is too big for us to address,” said the former president.
Obasanjo stated that it is critical for Africa to recognise the unique characteristics of its people when formulating and implementing realistic, indigenous solutions to the continent’s challenges.
With the manner it settled the civil conflict between Tigray and Ethopia, he noted, the African Union (AU) had taken the lead in finding home-grown solutions to the continent’s challenges.
“It is a tremendous lesson for us to realise that whatever our problem in Africa is—political, economic, or social—we can fix it if we go about pursuing solutions correctly.”
“What is critical, and what I want you to take seriously, is that what we were able to do in Tigray between the TPLF and the Ethiopian government is what you and I would see as finding African answers to African problems.”
“This is what our leaders have been demanding since our independence in the early 1960s.”
“No problem in Africa is too big for us to solve: peace difficulties, insecurity problems, young unemployment problems, lack of empowerment, lack of skill acquisition, and overall lousy governance,” Obasanjo stated.
The President of the Ethiopian Higher Education Institutions Students’ Union (EHEISU), Oli Wako, stated in his remarks that African student leaders were accompanying Obasanjo on a ‘thank you’ visit.
According to Wako, the former president was instrumental in the historic signing of the Pretoria Peace Agreement between the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray Liberation Fronts.
According to him, the deadliest battle in Ethiopia’s Tigray area has brought enormous misery, costing the lives of numerous young people and left vast ruin and grief.
He did, however, emphasise that Obasanjo’s initiative had saved numerous lives and provided a firm basis for Tigray’s war-torn territory to rebuild on.
“Baba, we want to express our profound gratitude for your unwavering commitment to mediating the Ethiopian peace accord.”
“Your gifts have given our people fresh hope, and we stand here today, eternally grateful for your extraordinary efforts.”
“I approach you today with humility to request your ongoing assistance,” he added.