Addis Ababa, Ethiopia - The Cairo Center organized a workshop titled “Partnerships for Peace and Security in Africa” at the African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa on the 3rd of March 2017.
Held in cooperation with the Egyptian Embassy in Addis Ababa, the Japanese Embassies in Cairo and Addis Ababa and the African Union Commission, the one-day workshop focused on achieving synergy between the African Peace & Security Architecture (APSA) Roadmap and the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD VI) Nairobi Declaration. In particular, the workshop aimed to provide recommendations for decision makers to ensure that Japanese contributions to African peace and security are aligned with the five strategic priorities of the APSA Roadmap (2016-2020)--with a special focus on areas that overlap with the Nairobi Declaration, including conflict prevention, peacebuilding, crisis management and countering terrorism.
The workshop was the second in a series of events organized by the Cairo Center that focused on the implementation of the Yokohama Action Plan (2013-2017) of the TICAD process. The first workshop was held on 13-14 July 2016 in Cairo.
The event saw the participation of high-level representatives from national governments, regional and international organizations, including H.E. Mohamed Edrees, Assistant Foreign Minister for African Affairs, Egypt; H.E. Abu-bakr Hefny, Ambassador of Egypt to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union; H.E. Shinichi Saida, Ambassador of Japan to Ethiopia and Permanent Representative to the African Union; H.E. Haile Menkerios, Under-Secretary-General, Head of United Nations Office to the African Union; and H.E. Admore Kambudzi, Director of the Peace and Security Department of the African Union. Also in attendance were ambassadors and representatives from the embassies of the USA, Netherlands, China, Norway, Japan, India, France, Italy, Canada, Germany, Finland, UK and Sweden, and the European Union Delegation in Addis Ababa. Also attending the event were a number of representatives from African Regional Economic Communities/Regional Mechanisms (RECs/RMs), as well as leading African peacekeeping training centres, including the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), the Institute of Security Studies (ISS) and African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).
The workshop was conducted through panel discussions on four main themes: (i) The Future of APSA: Views of the African Union Commission and Partners; (ii) Effective Partnerships: APSA Roadmap and TICAD VI; (iii) The Future of Peacekeeping Operations in Africa; and (iv) The Future of APSA: Implications for Training and Capacity Building.
Panelists highlighted Egypt’s important contributions to peace and security in Africa, and Japan’s significant role in supporting African development, peace and security efforts. (Both countries are major contributors to UN peacekeeping operations and members of the United Nations Security Council.)
Moving on to the issue of partnerships in peace and security, participants highlighted the importance of African ownership as the only guarantee of sustainability; stating that international assistance should be aligned with African needs and priorities. Discussions also touched on the need to relate the African Standby Force’s deployment scenarios to new realities on the ground. They also pointed out the importance of aligning peace and security goals with sustainable economic and social development.
The issue of financing also received particular attention whereby participants highlighted the need for applying systematic and credible approaches for securing financing through partnerships, and moving away from ad-hoc arrangements.
The role of training institutions in preparing troops was also high on the agenda, with participants highlighting the continued need for building African capacities, especially in rapid deployment and crisis response.