For much of the past decade, political and corporate governance in Africa has been improving, leading to greater economic growth and improved standards of living.
According to the World Bank, gross domestic product per person has increased by as much as a third since 2000, in part because of strong commodity prices, increased investment from China and India, as well as new technology, like telecommunications. These political and economic gains must be protected.
This is why it is important that a multi-national central African military force has intervened in the Central African Republic (CAR), where rebels have seized much of the unstable country and moved to within striking distance of the capital.
The bloc is defending the capital and facilitating peace talks. The rebellion is believed to be the result of a toxic brew of unfulfilled political promises and religious divisions. While the government may not be blameless, the days of bloody rebellions in Africa must come to an end.
Social and political differences can no longer be settled with the barrel of a gun, at great cost to civilians. Disputes, no matter how persistent, must be resolved through dialogue, if the last decade of progress is to mark a new stage of sustainable development for the continent.
Carefully considered intervention by regional blocs to discourage militants and help build cohesive political and social structures will help end the habit of opposition parties — and governments — too easily resorting to arms.