Egypt is set to kick off its Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace, Security and Development in Africa next month with a focus on the continent’s potential in face of crises and challenges.
The inaugural meeting of the forum, titled ‘An Agenda for Sustainable Peace, Security and Development in Africa’, will be held on 11-12 December with the attendance of key African and world leaders, international and regional organisations, and others in 13 key sessions.
The forum is set to kick off with a keynote speech by Egyptian President and African Union Chairman Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi, followed by the first session titled ‘The Africa We Want: Sustaining Peace, Security & Development’.
The session is set to include discussions about Africa’s potential, as home to at least half of the fastest growing economies in the world due to rich resources, urbanisation, industrialisation, and economic diversification.
“This great promise, however, is under threat; undermined by a myriad of crises, challenges and risks to peace, security and development, including conflict, terrorism, and climate change,” the forum’s agenda reads.
The second session, ‘Silencing the Guns in Africa: Owning the Prevention Agenda’, will discuss how the prevention agenda must be integrated into national development policies and efforts, with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of this approach.
Other sessions include a focus on a regional cooperation framework for peace, security, and development in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, why sustainable peace and development in the Sahel is still elusive, and managing journeys away from extremism and building post-terrorism local orders.
The second day of the forum will see sessions on advancing African women’s contribution to peace, security and development, a roundtable on supporting the transition process in Sudan, and forced displacement and mixed migration in Africa.
The Aswan forum was announced by El-Sisi in February 2019 as he chaired the African Union during the 32nd summit in Ethiopia’s Addis Ababa for the first time since the African body was established in 2002.
It is designed as a platform for African and world leaders, and for African and global companies, experts, and others to discuss the operationalisation of interlinkages between “sustaining peace” and “sustainable development” in Africa, with the hope of making “a real difference in peoples’ lives and to spread hope,” El-Sisi noted in his speech in February, according to the forum’s website.