• Peace and Stability are key ingredients for any nation to achieve its social and developmental goals. When there is peaceful coexistence between the citizens of a nation, and between a nation and its neighbours, the opportunities for social, cultural and economic interaction and integration increase.
AMISOM soldiers. PHOTO | AUC
In 2013, during The 50th Anniversary of the OAU/AU, African Heads of State and Government made a Solemn Declaration committing to tackle head-on the scourge of violent conflict in Africa and pronounced their firm determination to achieve the noble goal of a conflict-free Africa, thereby making peace a reality for African people, ridding our beloved continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, humanitarian crises as well as preventing genocide.
Significantly, African leaders “pledged not to bequeath the burden of conflicts to the next generation of Africans”.
To this end, African leaders reaffirmed their commitment to address the structural root causes of violent conflict, and took a number of initiatives such as, the declaration of the period 2014-2024 as the Nelson Mandela Decade of Reconciliation in Africa and the month of September of each year, until 2020, as “Africa Amnesty Month” for the surrender and collection of illegally-owned weapons and arms. In addition Silencing the Guns in Africa was reaffirmed as a Flagship Project of Africa’s Agenda 2063, requiring Africans to work together towards ending all wars, civil conflicts, gender-based violence, violent conflicts and preventing genocide.
In furtherance of its commitment to achieve the Aspirations of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and specifically Aspiration 4 which envisions a Peaceful and Secure; the African Union Heads of State and Government committed to the theme of the year 2020 being “Silencing the Guns: Creating Conducive conditions for Africa’s Development.
Guided by key instruments such as the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), the AU Peace and Security Council, as well as funding for peace and security operations through the AU Peace Fund; the 2020 Theme will focus attention towards pushing for a peaceful coexistence between the citizens of African states and between African nations in order to create the conducive environment necessary to benefit from the opportunities that arise from social, cultural and economic interaction and integration and increasing the chances for socio-economic growth and development. This will also include shining a light on the structural root causes for conflicts in Africa including governance deficit and failures in ensuring inclusive and progressive development agenda.
Various AU treaties governing issues related to promoting peace, security and good governance include the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, the Convention for the Elimination of Mercenarism in Africa, Convention on the Prevention and Combating of Terrorism, The Non-Aggression and Common Defence Pact, African Charter on Maritime Security and Safety and Development in Africa, African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance and the Convention on Preventing and Combatting Corruption.
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SILENCING THE GUNS: Creating Conducive Conditions for Africa’s Development