Aswan Hosts First Forum for Sustainable Peace & Development in Africa
The first Aswan Forum on Sustainable Peace, Security and Development in Africa, held Dec.11-12 in the upper Egyptian city of Aswan, focused on post-conflict reconstruction, education, climate change and sustainable development in the continent.
World leaders as well as representatives of international and regional organizations debated a wide range of issues during the two-day forum, including Africa’s economic potential, conflicts resolution and prevention, and the need to integrate the prevention agenda into national development policies and efforts, while putting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at the core of this approach.
Participants highlighted the importance of promoting security and combating terrorism as main factors for achieving development across the continent, noting that terrorism is preventing some African countries from fully benefiting from their resources and capabilities.
Senegalese President Macky Sall said in this connection that “Fighting terrorism eats up from 18 to 24 percent of the African continent budget, resulting in budget deficit.”
African leaders attending the forum also expressed concerns about the interference of external forces, as a phenomenon that is negatively affecting the continent.
Participants in the forum also discussed means of advancing African women’s contribution to peace, security and development, how to support the transition process in Sudan, as well as forced displacement and mixed migration in Africa, the number of refugees, migrants and internally displaced persons being at records high.
Africa, home to at least half of the fastest growing economies of the world, is rich in resources and is riding a wave of urbanization. However, this great potential is undermined by a myriad of crises, challenges and risks to peace, security and development.
Acting as the chairman of the African Union, Egypt took the initiative to launch the forum, the first of its kind in Africa, to address the interlinkage between peace and development.