Concept Note

Introduction: Concept and origin

With the With the aim of playing a crucial role in bringing about sustainable peace and contributing to the implementation of the African Union Tripoli Declaration of August 2009, the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University convenes an annual forum on security called the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, or Tana Forum in short. This initiative is a response to the declaration’s appeal for “African-centred solutions”, and its call for the treatment of peace and security as a collective “intellectual challenge”.

As a result, the annual Tana Forum emerged as an independent platform initiated by IPSS and eminent African personalities, including Meles Zenawi, the late Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The Forum is an informal gathering of African decision-makers, peace and security stakeholder groups, and their larger constituencies for an open discussion of security issues and challenges faced by the continent.

Overall and specific objectives

The overall objective of the Tana Forum is to facilitate a platform where African peace and security issues are discussed and followed up by African decision-makers and peace and security stakeholder groups in an open and unceremonious setting. Specifically, the Forum aims at:

  • Providing opportunities to decision-making leaders and institutions to exchange experiences and insights on peace and security issues among themselves with a view to taking home inspiration and practical lessons;
  • Giving opportunities to political decision-makers to interact and consult with a broad-based African constituency as well as with key global actors;
  • Contributing to a substantive African open debate on peace and security issues of key and strategic importance to the continent and its regional institutions;
  • Communicating with and listening to “profound African voices on the ground” on various dimensions and components of peace and security on the continent, thus facilitating an inclusive dialogue among governments and other African security stakeholder groups;
  • Sensitizing and mobilizing other stakeholders, actors and the overall African opinion for larger ownership of Africa-owned solutions on peace and security.

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