Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo has emphasized the need for Africa to consider the unique characteristics of its citizens while developing and implementing practical solutions to the issues currently facing the continent.
Urging African leaders to find homegrown solutions to the continent’s numerous issues, he added that no problem in Africa was too big to be resolved.
Obasanjo state this on Wednesday while addressing a delegation of students and youths across African countries at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), Abeokuta, Ogun state.
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), Mekelle University Students’ Union, Weldebrhan Azazi, Oli Bedane Wako for the Ethiopian Higher Education Institutions Students Union (EHEISU), and President – United Youth of Africa Nation (UYAN), Dr. Daysman Oyakhilome among others.
The students were on a “thank you” visit to Obasanjo for mediating a cease-fire agreement between the government of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) last year.
The elder stateman added that just as the African Union (AU) resolved the civil war between Tigray and Ethopia, other issues facing Africa would be resolved if the appropriate solutions are found.
“It is a great lesson for us to know that yes, whatever may be our problem – political, economic, social in Africa, we can solve them if we go about seeking solution rightly.
“What is very important and which I want you to take very very seriously is that, what we were able to achieve in Tigray, the peace that we were able to achieve in Tigray between TPLF and the Federal government of Ethopia is what you and I will regard as finding African solution to African problem. And this is what our leaders have been clamouring for even from independence in the early 1960s.
“No problem in Africa is too great for us to solve where there may be problem of peace, problem of insecurity, problem of youths unemployment, youths lack of empowerment, youths lack of acquisition of skills, youths frustration and of course general bad governance.”
Oli Bedane Wako, the president of the Ethiopian Higher Education Institutions Students Union (EHEISU), said in his remarks that the thank-you visit from African student leaders was for Obasanjo’s part in the historic signing of the Pretoria Peace Agreement between the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Tigray Liberation Fronts.
He claims that the bloodiest conflict in Ethiopia’s Tigray area has left a trail of enormous destruction and anguish in addition to taking the lives of numerous young people.
However, he pointed out that Obasanjo’s initiative had saved many lives and given a basis for the reconstruction of the war-torn region of Tigray.
“Baba, we extend our heartfelt appreciation for your unwavering commitment in brokering the peace agreement in Ethiopia. Your contributions have brought a new sense of hope to our people, and we stand here today, forever grateful for your remarkable efforts.
“Yet, even as the sounds of gunfire have ceased, the suffering continues in Tigray. The situation is dire. Starvation persists, schools and healthcare facilities stand in ruins, and our education system faces unprecedented challenges. It is with humility that we approach you today, seeking your continued assistance,” he said.