About the Forum

Frank, relevant and candid dialogue is fundamental to resolving conflict and transforming societies. The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is an annual meeting that brings together African leaders and stakeholders to engage and explore African-led security solutions.

The Forum complements formal meetings of African heads of state and government by assembling them in an informal, collaborative environment. In the spirit of gatherings taking place under the Baobab tree, the Forum offers room and space for panel discussions, interaction with the floor and bilateral talks to share views and experiences in a time efficient, result-oriented and open manner. 

The Tana Forum promotes African-led solutions by holding discussions on the strategic and pro-active management of African peace and security issues driven by the interest to contribute to stronger ownership of these issues.

From the seating arrangements to the dress code, the informal nature of the Forum enables participants to get to the heart of the issue at hand, a truly unique experience for high-level dialogue. Olusegun Obasanjo, Forum Chairperson and former President of Nigeria, famously removes his boubou at the start of the Forum as a gesture to participants to “ditch the tie and roll up your sleeves“

Furthermore, the Forum is immersive in that it combines the worlds of academia and research with real-world, real-time experience. The result is an action-oriented and policy-relevant discussion.

5 Reasons why you should know about the Tana Forum

  • Frank, relevant and candid: The Tana Forum is at the forefront of initiating dialogue among the continent’s foremost policymakers and policy influencers on pressing peace and security challenges.
  • Immersive: We combine the worlds of academia and research with real world experiences. Each Forum is preceded by research on the theme of the year and on the state of peace and security in Africa, resulting in an action-oriented and policy-relevant discussion.
  • Informal: Thought leaders from varying backgrounds and professions gather under the baobab tree (depicted in our logo) to talk to and with each other. The baobab is relevant to Tana through its symbolism of dialogue as it invites participants to sit down in a spirit of commonality and moral duty towards finding solutions in peace and security for the continent.
  • Location: The Tana Forum takes place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia – a relaxing town located on the shores of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile River.
  • Access: Both participants and interested viewers who want to follow the Forum’s discussion are only a click away – we provide live updates in French and English on our desktop, mobile and tablet-friendly platforms, including our online app, website and social media pages. Visit www.tanaforum.org for more information.

Our Identity

  • Frank, relevant and candid: The Tana Forum is at the forefront of initiating dialogue among the continent’s foremost policymakers and policy influencers on pressing peace and security challenges.
  • Immersive: We combine the worlds of academia and research with real world experiences. Each Forum is preceded by research on the theme of the year and on the state of peace and security in Africa, resulting in an action-oriented and policy-relevant discussion.
  • Informal: Thought leaders from varying backgrounds and professions gather under the baobab tree (depicted in our logo) to talk to and with each other. The baobab is relevant to Tana through its symbolism of dialogue as it invites participants to sit down in a spirit of commonality and moral duty towards finding solutions in peace and security for the continent.
  • Location: The Tana Forum takes place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia – a relaxing town located on the shores of Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile River.
  • Access: Both participants and interested viewers who want to follow the Forum’s discussion are only a click away – we provide live updates in French and English on our desktop, mobile and tablet-friendly platforms, including our online app, website and social media pages. Visit www.tanaforum.org for more information.

About Bahir Dar

In addition to the baobab, the forum’s  venue is also a key part of its unique identity. The forum is held every year on the shores of Lake Tana, the largest highland lake in Ethiopia and the fourth largest in Africa, which bears its name. Source of the Blue Nile, Tana has more than 21 islands and gives the forum’s host city Bahir Dar its picturesque backdrop as one of Ethiopia’s top touristic destinations.