Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has urged retired African leaders to offer solutions towards the problems of conflict on the continent. File Picture:Reuters/Thomas Mukoya

Johannesburg - Former South African President Thabo Mbeki has urged retired African leaders to offer solutions towards the problems of conflict on the continent.

Mbeki was speaking on the first day of the African Leadership Forum held at the Birchwood Hotel and Conference Centre.

The two-day symposium, held under the theme: 'Peace and Security for an Integrated United and Sustainable Africa' aims to foster conversation and concerted efforts among activists, academics and politicians to end human rights violations. 

Guests included former country leaders such as ex-Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, former Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki as well Tanzania's Jakaya Kikwete among others.

On the failure by African leaders to deal with conflict collectively, Mbeki said: "When you have a leadership that is self-centred, the problem is not a policy issue, it's a leadership issue."

Mbeki's remarks on conflict resolution were further echoed by Obasanju who stated: "I personally advocate for African solutions to African problems."

Obasanju spoke of successes in fighting terrorism on the continent which plagued Nigeria during his tenure his tenure as President. 

The West African country leader has in the past been heavily criticised for his alleged lack of influence in development. 

Namibia's Prime Minister and Deputy Minister of International Relations, Netumbo Nandi-Ndwaitah, on the other hand, pointed out that these solutions would have to be funded by Africans.

Meanwhile, Marzouki recognised that efforts were made by the continent's leaders to sustain peace and security as well as increase collaborative efforts in fighting terrorism. 

However, his concern he said, was that African leaders only act against terrorist attacks after a catastrophe has occurred as opposed to being proactive. 

Leaders collectively spoke of the conflict in Libya and the Sudan as one which can be solved by united leadership in the region and the Continent as a whole.

The Star