Conflict patterns in Africa have changed rapidly in recent years posing a challenge to peace and security.
West Africa has lessons to learn from its ancient empires and colonial governments on regional trade and integration.
West African leaders have nursed the idea of a common currency for the sub-region since the turn of the century. But conditions for member countries to make this happen appear unattainable.
Morocco has been on a massive diplomatic drive, using both its political and economic muscle. Since his coronation in 1999, the king has led over 40 visits to African countries south of the Sahara.
The adoption of the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance five years ago raised hopes for a new democratic Africa. But its ideals remain elusive for many parts of the continent.
Attempts to deepen democracy in Africa by limiting presidential terms to two have not entirely quashed a culture of entitlement to rule. Glimpses of it persist, much against citizens' wishes.
Although Ecowas and the AU made sure that Yahya Jammeh stepped down after losing the elections in The Gambia, caution is warranted in assuming this heralds a trend against African dictatorships.
SADC's credibility is at stake. Its lack of political will in acting decisively against despots is at odds with the African Union's goal of promoting legitimate governance on the continent.
Military intervention is sanctioned and executed by states. It is thus always a function of state interests rather than the objective enforcement of law. The case of The Gambia is no different.