4th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa
The 4th Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa took place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, from 18-19th April 2015. It brought together heads of state, policymakers, and policy-influencers, eminent leaders from all religious sectors, to deliberate over the Forum’s theme for the year: “Secularism and Politicized Faith”.
The importance of disestablishing state religion and developing an agenda of secularism that underlines tolerance was highlighted during the Forum. The annual Meles Zenawi Lecture paid tribute to the influential advocate of Pan-Africanism, Kwame Nkrumah.
In his address, the Chairperson of the Tana Forum referred to the attack on a university compound in Garissa, Kenya by the militant group, Al-Shabab, as a reminder that anyone across the continent could have been victims of “vicious attacks by those who kill in the name of a higher power.”
Participants of the Tana Forum agreed that tackling this issue did not rest in the hands of military servicemen and women but across all levels of society. Instead, it rested in the hands of states and responsible institutions to show greater commitment to tackle corruption to free more resources for critical people-focused development intervention to provide a fair chance of success to vulnerable members of the society.
He highlighted efforts made by the Tana Forum to increase inclusivity in the Forum that year by attracting the participation of Francophone African countries.
This year’s Tana High-Level Forum also saw the inauguration of the Tana Forum Park, which was created to strengthen the ties between the Tana Forum and its host city of Bahir Dar. Located in the city’s suburbs, the Tana Forum Park was built on land granted by the administration of the city of Bahir Dar. The Park represents the Forum’s firm stance on environmental protection and its commitment to supporting the people and the administration of Bahir Dar’s goals of building a beautiful and environmentally sustainable city. Several presidents and dignitaries inaugurated the Park by planting trees. These included: H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Tana Forum Chairperson; H.E. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of Ethiopia; President Yoweri Museveni, President of Uganda; H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda; H.E. Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, President of Mali; and H.E. Amina Mohammed, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in Kenya.