Foreign policy: The diplomatic project – Lequotidien

Foreign policy: The diplomatic project – Lequotidien
Foreign policy: The diplomatic project – Lequotidien

The Minister of African Integration and Foreign Affairs called on figures close to the new power to provide Senegalese diplomats with the prospects of Senegal’s new policy of African integration and diplomacy. Apart from a few generalities, certain orientations set out by certain panelists were not at all appreciated by the diplomats present.

By Mohamed GUEYE – The new power seeks to reorient Senegal’s diplomacy on another axis. The ambition of our current leaders is to find or establish new alliances that go beyond the traditional alliances dating from the era of President Léopold Sédar Senghor, and favor the fashionable jargon within the Pastef party, namely sovereignism.
It is in this sense that we must understand the reflections which emerged from the seminar organized on April 25 by the Minister of African Integration and Foreign Affairs, and which had the theme: “What prospects for the new policy of African integration and diplomacy of Senegal? Minister Yassine Fall, from the introduction, indicated that it was a question of “reorienting our diplomacy towards the deepening and acceleration of a process of in-depth and egalitarian integration of Africa, in accordance with the new political orientations of the Head of State and the rupture expected by the Senegalese people. Based on this, some panelists wanted to believe that what happened in Senegal on March 24 was a revolution and not just a presidential election, as Senegal had to experience before.
To speak to Senegalese diplomats, their supervisory minister called on personalities like Pierre Sané whose best-known title is to have been president of the NGO Amnesty International more than a decade ago, Ibrahima Aïdara, a economist working at the NGO Osiwa, or Ngagne Demba Touré, a clerk member of the Pastef party, who found himself promoted to director of a state mining company, among others.

We understand then that these people could have been inclined to think that all the diplomacy carried out in Senegal before the arrival of the Pastef party in power was to be thrown in the trash. Someone went so far as to “call for the abandonment of the incantatory speech of integration to move towards action. He noted the limits of the Senghorian approach of concentric circles and considers that the free movement of people and goods could accelerate the integration of African peoples. Forgetting that if Bassirou Diomaye Faye favored local visits to neighboring countries and Ivory Coast, it is first and foremost in direct application of this policy of “concentric circles”. And if his economic and financial tandem went to Washington, to meetings of the IMF and the World Bank, it is out of economic pragmatism.

This did not prevent Ngagne Demba Touré from advocating “left-wing sovereignty and pan-Africanism”. We would like to know what exactly this term covers. Nevertheless, wanting to emphasize the promotion of a policy oriented towards youth, Mr. Touré asked that Senegal lead the way in adopting a community directive in order to reserve a quota of 25% for young Africans in political deliberation bodies. He also wants the creation of African sports clubs, regional and sub-regional forums for entrepreneurship and youth employment, or the organization of annual pan-African youth holidays. A vast program which we do not yet see how it could begin to be implemented.

As if he discovered the hidden side of the moon, Ibrahima Aïdara returned to the need for a positioning of Senegal in international negotiations on questions relating to debt, financing of development, financing of questions linked to change climate, etc. As if he did not hear or see Macky Sall struggling on these issues in the last years of his power… He also wanted an effort in the effective harmonization of African public policies, particularly at the level of ECOWAS. If we hear Minister Yassine Fall lamenting that ECOWAS has become “an organization more political and military than an instrument of African integration”, we can wonder how the “sovereignists” of her government will be able to convince the other countries to stand on their positions.

The new diplomatic paradigm that Yassine Fall wants to establish, undoubtedly with the anointing of his leaders, does not seem to take into account the fact that if Senegalese diplomacy is envied in Africa and respected throughout the world, it is thanks to training of its executives, all trained at the National School of Administration (Ena), on the basis of the fundamentals which have enabled Senegal to not only be the arbiter of major conflicts around the world, despite our Lilliputian size on the world map and our position as a poor, highly indebted country. Everywhere, the voice of Senegal has always been heard and respected. Asking them, as Pierre Sané did, to demonstrate “patriotism, integrity, tenacity, pan-Africanism and sovereignty” is more than a lack of respect for them. Which many did not appreciate, even if they did not shout it out loud.
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