5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa
The 5th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa was hosted in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, from 16-17 April 2016.
In his welcome address, Professor Andreas Esheté, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia and Deputy Chairperson of the Tana Forum Board, stated that he believed the Tana Forum had achieved its objective of transforming the African debate on peace and security. “Five years ago, we embarked on a journey to transform the African debate on peace and security. Today, after four successful Forums with participation from the highest levels of government, civil society, academia, and the private sector, I am confident to say that we have achieved that goal”, Prof. Esheté said.
He bemoaned what he described as the perception of Africa as “a theatre for experimenting and propagating foreign ideologies.” He asserted that Africans should question why, for more than half a century after independence, the continent continued to remain vulnerable to external threats and externally driven solutions.
Prof. Esheté emphasised the need to boldly confront the status quo and critically assess the capacity of these institutions to resolve conflicts once they start or even before they start.
In collaboration with Bahir Dar University, a Public lecture on: “The Developmental State in Africa: The Rwandan Experience”. The lecture, which served as a pre-forum event, was chaired by H.E. Mr Joaquim Chissano, Former President of the Republic of Mozambique.
A series of panel discussions took place with panellists drawn from government, civil society, academia, and international multilateral and regional organisations.
The keynote address for the 5th Tana Forum was delivered by Mr Kofi Annan, Chairman of the Kofi Annan Foundation and Former Secretary-General of the United Nations.
In his address on “Africa and the Global Security Architecture”, Mr Annan emphasised that in Africa, as elsewhere, the answer to peace and security did not lie in a purely military response that failed to deal with the root causes of disaffection and violence. “You cannot have peace and security without inclusive development, the rule of law, and the respect for human rights. These are the three pillars of all successful societies.”