By Gashi 

Countries where government serves to bring stability, prosperity, justice, and equality to all, without discrimination, are those that will enjoy peace and security, both within the country and even with neighboring countries and the international community. 

Therefore, the biggest protection for a country is peace. If peace reigns, there is no need to buy armor or tanks, and no internal or external enemies. When we talk about good policy, this means respecting the foundation of democracy and human rights. Where I come from, in Africa, there has been a great deal of violation of democracy and human rights. 

The source of the problems is a failure to follow the law, and to value equality and humanity.  This happens when leaders who are given power by the people then want to continue to stay in power. They don’t respect the law and think they are above it. 

This is sad. You can find presidents who have been in power for more than three decades. By then he has become so powerful, many people bow down to him – the taxes paid by the people of the country, and the resources of the country, are all owned by him. 

Such leaders work to weaken institutions, to make sure that the president is all-powerful. We often call such presidents dictators. Because of their destructive policies, when they finally leave power, the country faces problems – because its institutions are weak. 

Dictators have many methods of making sure that the more powerful countries in the world view them as good leaders, and that the people of their country love them. They use the media to make themselves appear to be good people and good leaders. People should understand that what they hear or read is not always true. They should wonder why it is always the opponents of the leader who get killed, go to jail, flee into exile, and start moderate opposition parties if that is possible. If democracy was respected, and equality, justice, and human rights were given priority, we wouldn’t constantly witness chaos, war, rebellion, murder, and the flight of people from their country. 

Many dictators believe that their greatest weapon is silencing their opponents, and using guns to fight them. I believe that the main pillar for achieving peace is respecting the freedom of democracy.  I believe this is what will lead to prosperity for our African countries. It is sad that money that could have built schools and hospitals, and strengthened other aspects of the infrastructure was instead used to buy weapons. Our leaders need to respect the rule of law, and understand that countries can rid themselves of the epidemic of poverty by respecting democracy.