By Mpako Foaleng and Niagalé Bagayoko*
Faced with security threats that are rapidly and constantly changing, and compounded by economic and social challenges that inhibit development ambitions in Africa, the question that is increasingly being asked is how to promote the participation of civil society in the management of public affairs and, in particular, political and security matters.
On 29 March 2018, representatives from various embassies attended the annual Ambassadors’ Briefing in preparation for the 7th Tana Forum, which is taking place on 21-22 April 2018 in Bahir Dar. Hosted by the Tana Forum Secretariat, based at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), the Ambassadors had the opportunity to inform themselves of the content and protocol of this year’s Forum. Olusegun Obasanjo, Chairperson of the Tana Forum Board, opened the session by explaining the reason behind the selection of this year’s topic – ‘Ownership of Africa’s Peace and Security Provision: Financing and Reforming the African Union’. The question of ownership is relevant to all African countries and societies, in light of the current structure of peace and security arrangements on the continent, which depends on partners to finance a majority of activities.
By Nanjala Nyabola*
On 21 March 2018, 44 African leaders made history in Kigali, Rwanda, when they signed up for the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA). The agreement will create one of the world’s largest free trade areas - a single market for goods and services for a population of over 1.2 million people - if all AU members eventually sign and ratify it. The AfCTA is in line with the broader goals of the AU reforms initiative, which intends to move away from the current situation of multiple, almost competing economic blocs to a single pan-African unit that facilitates the free movement of goods and services across the continent. The AfCTA is a milestone achievement that could change the economic trajectory of the continent.
9 April 2018 -- The Tana Forum Secretariat is pleased to announce that H.E. Dr. Abiye Ahmed Ali, Ethiopia’s recently sworn in Prime Minister, will deliver the opening remarks at the 7th Tana Forum on 21-22 April 2018 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. The government of Ethiopia is the official host of the Tana Forum, and, in usual tradition, the Prime Minister will deliver the opening and closing remarks to the Forum’s participants. “We look forward to hearing his views on the AU reforms process, as well as his perspectives on current peace and security challenges on the continent,” said H.E. Obasanjo Olusegun, former President of Nigeria and Chairperson of the Tana Forum.
9 April 2018 -- The keynote address of the 7th Tana Forum will be delivered by H.E. Mr. Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of the African Union Commission. In 2017, Mr. Mahamat established the Reform Implementation Unit to oversee and coordinate the implementation process. The theme of this year’s Forum - Ownership of Africa’s Peace and Security Provision: Financing and Reforming the African Union - corresponds with the ongoing AU reform process to ensure the organization's long-term independence and sustainability. One of the major components of the reform plan is the 0.2% levy on eligible imports from outside Africa to increase financing of the Union by Member States.