By BIENCE GAWANAS
Since the founding of the United Nations in 1945, Africa has arguably undergone the most dramatic transformations of any region in the world. From a continent largely under colonial rule in the 1940s, the decades that followed would see a multitude of African countries fight for and win independence, while immersed in struggles for socioeconomic development, peace and security.
Today, less than a century later, Africa is a continent ripe with human and natural resources and enormous untapped economic and social potential. It has increasingly pursued a transformational agenda, with the aim of achieving shared prosperity, unity, peace and integration. Its renewed focus on human development has resulted in strengthened social and economic inclusion, improved primary and secondary education opportunities, increased gender equality across the continent, increased longevity and significant reductions in maternal mortality, as well as strengthened regional capacity for identifying and addressing peace and security challenges.
While celebrating these accomplishments and its forward momentum, the continent has also shown strong recognition of the challenges that it continues to face. As such, it is only fitting that Africa is pursuing historically ambitious global and regional frameworks for development, peace and security. The global 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals were largely influenced by the Common African Position on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, through which African Member States negotiated in solidarity to ensure a comprehensive global agenda focused on structural economic transformation, inclusive growth, people-centred development and durable peace and security. Beyond this global framework, the African Union has also adopted Agenda 2063, which is a comprehensive continental framework that aims to achieve the African Union's vision of an "integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena"--in other words, the Africa We Want.
Africa's implementation of these two ambitious agendas requires not just a new approach to its own development, and peace and security interventions, but also a realignment of the way the continent interacts and partners with the rest of the world. Official development assistance (ODA), which has long served as the cornerstone of Africa's relationship with its development...