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African Nations Urged to Tighten Security

The Herald (Harare)

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Minister of State for National Security Sydney Sekeramayi has urged African countries to work closely in tightening security across the continent to curb the unbridled plunder of natural resources.

As he officially closed the 10th Conference of the Committee of Intelligence and Security Services of Africa on Wednesday, Minister Sekeramayi said the continued discovery of strategic mineral resources on the continent coupled with the emergence of new security realities presented Africa with new political, economic and security challenges.

"This imperial competition for our resources has, of late, been interfaced with the threat of illegal regime change. Africa is at crossroads; either we allow our erstwhile oppressors unfettered access to our natural resources and, thus, face the wrath of this great continent's future generations, or we wrestle the nettle and take full charge of the exploitation of our natural resources," he said.

He said time was bidding that they evolve the African security architecture with a view to confronting the belated western forays into the continent. "In this regard, questions of resource nationalism, indigenous economic empowerment and the consolidation of human security are the central themes that should dictate Africa's 21st century developmental agenda.

"Now is the time that Africa should shun the tag of the curse of natural resources, and own the process of driving the continent's economic development by harnessing the potential, the exploration, extraction, distribution and utilisation of the resources at our disposal for the amelioration of our people's livelihoods," Minister Sekeramayi said.

He said the conference was an opportunity to embolden the collective resolve towards the mitigation of challenges that continue to confront the continent. These, he said, included illegal regime changes, external interference, mercenarism, terrorism and narco-terrorism, activities of armed groups and negative forces, transnational organised crimes, extremism, cyber crimes, climate change, poverty and underdevelopment and the impact of HIV and Aids.

"It is indeed proper that we should deploy our collective capacities against these threats with the sole objective of bringing peace and stability to our continent.

"I am aware that as intelligence operatives, we may sometimes be tempted to go it alone. But faced with the shifting nature of these security threats, coupled with unimaginable advances in technology, our capacity to overcome these challenges continues to be enhanced by our common solidarity, history and goals," he said.

Minister Sekeramayi said Cissa as an institution, had a mandate to help defend and secure Pan-African ideals and principles by giving prominence to the role of intelligence in guaranteeing peace and stability.

He said it was also important for Cissa to be seized with developments in member states such as the Central African Republic, Somalia, Mali, Guinea Bissau and the DRC.

Minister Sekeramayi said Africa's intelligence and security architecture should conceptualise the continent's position against neo-colonialism and other 'alien' predispositions that continue to impede African development.

"The 10th Cissa Conference also came at a unique time when Zimbabwe is set to co-host, with Zambia, the 20th


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