The first African Union (AU) Policy Conference on Promoting the Peace, Security, and Development Nexus concluded yesterday, in Tangier, Kingdom of Morocco, with the reaffirmation of the unwavering commitment to addressing the linkages between the Peace, Security and Development nexus. The Conference also committed to actively promote the triple nexus within the national, regional and continental contexts.
Held from 25 to 27 October 2022, the Conference provided a unique platform for policy and decision makers and peace, security and development practitioners, to explore ways and means to advance the AU-led strategic partnerships on building peace, resilience and prosperity in Africa. To this end, participants pledged to promote a shared vision of economic development in Africa, to attain the regional integration and free movement of people, goods and services through harmonization of economic, financial and monetary cooperation.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccan Expatriates, Mr. Nasser Bourita stressed, in his welcoming remarks, that the AU Policy Conference is an opportunity to discuss the best ways to consolidate sustainable development, peace, security and governance in Africa.
In her remarks, the Deputy Secretary-General of the UN, Ms. Amina Mohammed, highlighted the significance of the Sustainable Development Goals in ensuring peace and prosperity and reiterated her call on participants to put greater emphasis on the implementation of the development, humanitarian, peacebuilding nexus to deliver peace, security, and sustainable development across Africa.
Also, the AU Commissioner for Economic Development, Trade, Tourism, Industry and Minerals, Ambassador Albert Muchanga, encouraged Member States and partners to step up efforts to identify financial options that minimize the high-risk premium associated with investments in Africa and leverage their positions to address the structural causes of conflicts, reduce growth volatility, and consolidate development outcomes for a more secure and resilient Continent.
Conference participants reaffirmed the call for extraordinary measures by the AU and its Member States, the UN system, development partners, private sector, non- governmental organizations and other key stakeholders, to mainstream the voices of the border communities and agropastoralists in peace, security and development discourse by promoting an integrated continent-wide programmes. Such programmes are expected to enhance production and productivity, improve access to financial and entrepreneurial potential, improve climate resilient infrastructure, and strengthen conflict prevention and peacebuilding capabilities.
One dominant theme woven through the speeches by participants was the need for enhanced collaboration and information sharing with African stakeholders and international partners; African capacities for planning and implementation of programmes and peacebuilding projects; the nexus between humanitarian and developmental programmes; the need for inclusive and accountable governance; the role of the border communities and agropastoralists in promoting regional socio- economic integration and connecting communities for sustainable development and the interlinkages between inter-African trade, industrialization, infrastructure development and peace through effective implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). The need for active, effective and meaningful participation of women, youth and representatives of children in peace, security and development was underscored. It was also stressed that free movement of people within Africa is a fundamental element for guaranteeing regional integration, peace and security of the Continent.
In his concluding remarks, Ambassador Muchanga expressed gratitude to the People and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco for the successful convening of the Conference. He expressed gratitude to the members of the Peace and Security Council for their participation and valuable contributions in the discussions. Appreciation was also extended to AU Partners (the African Development Bank (AfDB), the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), for all the efforts that led to the success of the Conference. “One of the key messages that came out of the Conference is a call to rebrand Africa and act timely and effectively to generate results that deliver the Africa We Want,” the Ambassador said.
On her part, Deputy Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), Ms. Hanan Morsy underlined that the nexus reinforces the importance of partnerships to achieve sustainable development in Africa. “As the Continent faces the challenge of increased debt, inflationary pressures and reduced fiscal space, the lasting solution can only come from within the Continent,” Ms. Morsy stated.