1st Tana Forum 2012
The maiden edition of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa took place from 14-15 April 2012, in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, under the theme “Managing Diversity and State Fragility.”
The inaugural Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa registered the presence of four Heads of State and Government, three Former Heads of State and Government, seven Ministers, one State Governor, six representatives of African multilateral organisations, ten global security actors, 30 experts, six civil society organisation representatives, and 13 partners. All five African regions were represented.
The welcome address was delivered by H.E. Meles Zenawi, then Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
In his address, he stated that the purpose of the Tana Forum was not to duplicate or replace the work of existing institutions but to supplement and reinforce them.
He revealed that the Forum’s objective was to work towards effective African-led solutions to the continent’s most pressing security challenges through both agenda-setting and the provision of a platform for discussion.
He highlighted the informal setting of the conference, participation by not only political leaders but also army and security officials, academics, and businessmen, as key distinguishing features of the Forum. He further highlighted that decisions were not to be taken at Tana or statements issued on African security issues. He emphasised that the Forum created an avenue for open and varied discussion on African security issues without the inhibitions posed by the need to reach a consensus to issue a statement or make a decision.
In his capacity as the Chairperson of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo emphasised that events in north Africa (the so-called Arab Spring) demonstrated the urgent need of a united African voice to effectively address unpredictable situations of conflict and insecurity.