Tana Forum, which aims at establishing a culture of dialogue that fosters change in the peace and security landscape in the continent, is set to take place in Bahirdar, from 21-22 April 2018.
The forum is organized with a firm believe that positive ideas could impact on insightful peace and security deliberations and help find solutions to security challenges, Michelle Ndiaye, Director of Africa Peace and Security Program and Head of the Tana Forum Secretariat told The Reporter.
According to Ndiaye, the Forum is an independent platform with informal discussions on conflict resolution and security challenges that urge stakeholders to engage and explore African led security solutions for Africa.
So far, the Forum has helped in the conceptualization of peace and security issues from an African perspective, by looking at more homegrown approaches to security challenges and conflicts.
“The Forum is also bringing more engagement from Africa’s stakeholders in the design and proactive management of peace and security on the continent,” Ndiaye said.
The 7th edition of the Forum is expected to deliberate on the peace and security matters of the continent with a theme of: “Ownership of Africa’s Peace and Security Provision: Financing and Reforming the African Union.” However, head of the secretariat said that the Forum has now faced challenges regarding the rapid growth and rising pressure from requests of wider and more inclusive participation.
“We are limited to only 200 seats per year; both capacity wise but also to maintain the original purpose of the Forum as an informal and open environment for dialogue,” Ndiaye told The Reporter.
The presence of the private sector has increased, mainly through funding but the challenge remains in encouraging individual participation, Ndiaye said.
The Forum produces every year an outcome document for more action oriented and policy relevant solutions. It compliments formal meetings of regional and continental organizations by bringing stakeholders in a collaborative environment. Though the Forum is an informal gathering and as such, it does not produce binding decisions to participating AU member countries.
“The Forum does not produce binding decisions but it promotes a better understanding of security threats, structural causes of conflicts and policy- relevant outcomes,” Ndiaye said.
The 7th edition of the Forum was set to take place in Hawassa, the capital city of the Southern Regional State.