2nd Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa
The 2nd Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa took place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, from April 20 to April 21, 2013. It was held on the theme: “State Fragility and the Prospects for Peace in Africa”.
A welcome address was delivered by H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.
In his address, Hailemariam Desalegn paid a glowing tribute to the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for his visionary leadership and his role as “the Forum’s ardent champion and by far biggest advocate.”
Introductory remarks were also delivered by H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Chairperson of the Tana High-Level Forum Advisory Board.
H.E. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of the Republic of Somalia, also delivered remarks during the Forum.
In the first session of the Forum, tribute was paid to the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. A Panel discussion was held to highlight the former Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s vision on the democratic developmental state and its promise for Africa. During the session to pay tribute to the late Prime Minister, he was remembered by his peers and contemporaries as an “intellectual, visionary, statesman, and patriot.”
Panellists included Dr Jean Ping, Former Chairperson of the African Union, Gabon, and Mr Charles Abugre, Deputy Director for Africa, UN Millennium Campaign, Kenya.
The keynote Address was delivered by H.E. Thabo Mbeki, Former President of South Africa and member of the Tana High-Level Forum Advisory Board and concluding remarks by H.E. Omar al-Bashir, President of the Republic of Sudan.
The theme of “Security and Organized Crime in Africa” was viewed as timely and critical in light of the Arab Uprising in North Africa, the situation in Mali, and other hot flashpoints in parts of Africa. The underlining concern during instability and conflict on the continent is the space they create for organised crimes, including but not limited to human trafficking, trade of illegal drugs, weapons’ sales, sexual slavery, organ harvesting, piracy, and illegal natural resources mining.
Participants agreed that the state is to serve as “a pillar of development is instrumental in the effort to eradicate organised crime in Africa through robust institutions.”
Additionally, participants identified that an integral part of the fight against organised crime is an intergenerational exchange to enable the youth to articulate their needs and learn from previous generations.
As the future of Africa is in the hands of those aged between 18 and 35, as they have a significant stake in a crime-free, stable continent and must be part of the solution.