Why the 2018 Tana Forum is important for Africa

The seventh edition of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa will on the 21st and 22nd of April 2018 take place in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia.  The event themed “Ownership of Africa’s Peace and Security Provision: Financing and Reforming the African Union” is expected to generate convergent views on Africa’s security delivery analyzed through the lens of AU reform. The keynote address will be delivered by President of the Republic of Rwanda and current African Union (AU) Chairperson, Paul Kagame.

“Insecurity takes many forms, from terrorism to uncontrolled migration to divisive politics or even consequences of the failure to adapt to climate change. But whatever the challenge is, we can most successfully address it by working together,” Paul Kagame said recently.

What you need to know about Tana Forum

The Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa is an annual meeting that brings African leaders and stakeholders together to engage and explore African-led security solutions.

The Forum complements the formal meetings of African heads of state and government by assembling them in an informal, collaborative environment.

Who are the key invitees of the forum

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 multilateral bodies, and important partners. However, direct participation is strictly on an invitation. For security reasons, information about participating leaders is not usually communicated in advance of the Forum.

Why is it important for Africa

Africa is faced with several security challenges such as War, Terrorism, Kidnapping, Rape molestation and Militancy.

These are very serious issues that cannot be left to the leaders of the various countries to handle alone. All the leaders in Africa need to come together and work as a team towards solving these issues that are really costing their economies a lot.

The Tana Forum offers an avenue where African leaders, security experts, and African security enthusiast meet to discuss a way out of the various security issues and conflicts plaguing the continent.

The Forum’s ability to combine the worlds of academia and research with real-world, real-time experience also makes the event an action-oriented and policy-relevant discussion.

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 really gave birth to this forum

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 the conflict in the August 2009 Tripoli Declaration on the Elimination of Conflicts in Africa and the Promotion of Sustainable Peace.

Its secretariat is at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of Addis Ababa University. The Board is led by Chairperson H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo, former President of Nigeria and Deputy Chairperson Prof. Andreas Eshete, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of Ethiopia with the Rank of a Minister.

Other key stakeholders include H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo – Former President of Nigeria and Tana Forum Board Chairperson, H.E. Dr. Joyce Banda – Former President of Malawi, Prof. Souleymane Bachir Diagne – Professor of Philosophy, Columbia University, USA, Dr. Hashim Mohammed Tewfik – Assistant Professor, Center for Federal Studies, Addis Ababa University.