Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Forum’s objective?

The Forum‘s objective is to provide both a platform and room to work towards establishing effective African-led solutions to the continent‘s most pressing security challenges. It promotes the pro-active management of African peace and security and aims at contributing to the building of stronger ownership and a larger constituency for these solutions. For the participants, the Forum is a unique opportunity to exchange experiences and insights on peace and security issues, to explore common approaches, and to take home practical lessons from an event that strives to foster the African voice in both African and global security discourse.

What is the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa?

The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is an annual forum that brings together leadership from all sectors to work on an African-led security agenda. It takes place each April in Bahir Dar, on the shores of Lake Tana, Ethiopia. The Forum is a response to the call by African Heads of State and Government for the elaboration of “African-centred solutions“ in the prevention, management and resolution of conflict in the August 2009 Tripoli Declaration on the Elimination of Conflicts in Africa and the Promotion of Sustainable Peace.

Who organizes the Forum?

The Forum is an independent initiative with a secretariat based at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) at Addis Ababa University. The Forum Secretariat works under the guidance of the Board and Technical Committee.

Who is involved in the funding of the Tana Forum?

Several partners contribute to the organization of the Tana Forum each year. 70% of funding is provided by the Ethiopian government and the African private sector. The remaining 30% of support is provided by development partners. To learn about our partners, click here.

Which Heads of State and Government will participate at the Forum?

Several Heads of State and Government attend the Tana Forum each year. For security reasons, information about participating leaders is not communicated in advance of the Forum.

Will the event be covered by the media?

Each year, a select number of national, regional and international media representatives are invited to participate at the Forum.

Why is the Forum taking place in Bahir Dar?

The overall setting of the Forum creates a retreat-like atmosphere to enable a collaborative spirit of problem-solving. The beautiful city of Bahir Dar is situated along Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, and provides for a quiet surrounding with all amenities. The city also received an honorary mention from the UNESCO Cities of Peace Prize 2002.

What is the Forum dress code?

The dress code for the Tana Forum is business casual and/or traditional attire.

Will the Forum’s discussions be available in other languages?

Yes, interpretation in English, French, Arabic and Amharic will be available.

Who chairs the Forum?

The Forum is chaired by H.E. John Dramani Mahama, former President of the Republic of Ghana.

Who participates in the Forum?

Key invitees of the Forum include Heads of State and Government, distinguished leaders of regional and sub-regional bodies, the private sector, concerned civil society from Africa, eminent personalities from politics and media, representatives of African and non-African multi-lateral bodies, and important partners. Direct participation is strictly upon invitation. Altogether, there will be over 100 floor participants. IPSS also organizes several off-site activities and platforms to involve more stakeholders, such as the Annual Essay Competition, an Ambassadors’ briefing and a pre-Forum press conference.

Can I participate in the Forum?

Please note that attendance is by invitation only. However, those who wish to make their voice heard towards building stronger ownership of, and a larger constituency for, African-led solutions to contemporary security challenges can do so by participating in our outreach activities. Stay updated through the Forum website, print media, radio, television, Facebook and Twitter.

I will be participating at the Forum. How can I obtain more information about the Forum or about my accommodation and fight information?

Please refer to the Logistical Note distributed to all participants, or contact the Forum organizers at

What is the Forum dress code?

The dress code for the Tana Forum is business casual and/or traditional attire.

How can I get access to Forum resource materials?

Resource materials, including documents from previous Forums, are available on our website. The collection will continuously be updated with background papers, on-site reports, follow-up communiqués, and audio and video footage.

How can I contact the Forum organizers for more information?

Please contact the Forum organizers by sending an e-mail to