Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Diplomacy should be Africa’s second option

By Bironga Chadwick Makori
Diplomacy is widely defined and regarded to be a tact or skill in handling affairs and or contentious issues without arousing hostility.
It is a complex and often challenging practice of fostering relationships in order to resolve issues and advance interests. On the international and national front, diplomacy is known to typically deploy its dexterity to secure advantage for one nation or certain individuals.
Diplomacy is the principal substitute for the use of force or underhand and unorthodox means in statecraft. Diplomacy does not necessarily make up for the problem it was tailored to redress but rather masks it up. It is a time-bomb which if triggered can set a country helplessly on fire.
David Lloyd George was once quoted as saying that diplomats were invented simply to waste time. That is the utter truth and it is backed by Irish sages of old whose adage says that a diplomat must always think twice before he says nothing. Resorting to the use of diplomacy is just but a waste of both time and monetary resources.
On the international scene, French has always been used as the official language for resolving diplomatic rows. However, scholars argue that French is increasingly anachronistic as a language of diplomacy. However, you are wrong if you think French is to blame for the failure of diplomacy to bear any fruit. Diplomacy is in itself a desperate attempt that is all but bound to be futile.
I am of the opinion that we should not refer all of our problems to boardroom diplomacy tussles that drain tax-payers’ money. If the bone of contention is an election, then it should be nullified and let the warring factions go back to the battlefield and face new elections. If a certain appointment has been done in a not-so-meritocratic way that has triggered outcries of foul play, then it should be re-done all over again sticking to the laid down principles. Diplomacy is not an end to most problems but rather a banana skin on which volatile matters cannot be balanced. It only helps pile up the potential for an outburst of rage.
Africa is a textbook example of the failure that diplomacy is. Diplomacy gave Kenya a grand coalition government where the section that did not deliver could fall back to the a half-loaf antics as scapegoat. Zimbabwe also found itself in this very situation, and Old Bob and Uncle Morgyas regime at the helm has not brought about any substantial prosperity.
Why then go the diplomatic way? Let us hit the bull in the eye. Hit reality where it hurts most and solve all problems at source, no make-ups please. As for use of diplomacy, it should only be used when other problem-resolution methodologies have failed (or so, methinks).
Bironga Chadwick Makori is a freelance writer, poet and blogger. You can check his blog at
First published in May 2013.


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