Crafting peace and building a safer world

Support to the African Peace and Security architecture in cooperation with the African Union and the Institute for Peace and Security Studies

Deutsche Gesellschaft Für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GMBH

In 2017, more than one third of all global high intensity conflicts took place on the African continent. Besides the grave imminent consequences of conflict, this situation presents one of the greatest obstacles to economic, political and social development in Africa. Commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, the project cooperates with various international partners in the joint effort to support the African Union (AU), the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at Addis Ababa University (IPSS) and other related stakeholders in finding African solutions for peace and security on the continent. In the framework of the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), special emphasis is placed on strengthening the relationships of the African regional organisations active in Peace and Security, as well as cooperating with other international partners for a more coherent approach. This includes the African Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the Regional Mechanisms for Conflict Prevention, Management and Resolution (RMs), African research institutes and NGOs, government institutions such as national development agencies or the European Union (EU), as well as the United Nations (UN). African players on the national, regional and continental level are strengthened to use functional instruments for the successful de-escalation of emerging conflicts, the termination of violent conflicts and peace consolidation in post-conflict areas. In 2017, the African Union and regional organisations intervened in 27 of 52 violent conflicts with diplomacy, mediation and, in the case of acute conflict, through peace-support operations. Among these interventions, 78% were evaluated to be of high or medium quality and 63% to be successful or partially successful. While these numbers already showcase both the ability and willingness of African actors to address peace and security challenges, the wish to tackle these issues remains often to be hampered by lacking capacities and underdeveloped instruments. The Africa-wide project encourages innovative, transnational and cross-sectoral solutions for peace and security, fosters South-South cooperation between the 55-Member States of the African Union and seeks to boost African ownership of peace and security processes. By promoting peace and strong institutions, the programme directly accelerates the implementation of the 2030 Agenda (SDG 16) and the Agenda 2063 of the African Union. Through its direct contribution to building stronger African networks and regional institutions, the project further makes a considerable contribution to strengthening global governance and partnerships for sustainable development (SDG17). This support project consists of two interrelated programmes. The first programme supports the African Union Commission (AUC) to operationalise the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA). The second programme assists the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), which provides high-quality training, applied research and policy dialogue for and with the African institutions active in the field of peace and security. The following past, current and future activities of the project showcase how its work is contributing to a comprehensive and continental approach to tackling peace and security issues in Africa: A Continental Early Warning System (CEWS) has been established and is being used actively. This innovative tool allows the AU’s decision-making bodies – primarily the Peace and Security Council – to have access to their own reliable information sources and analytical tools to monitor conflict situations and to respond rapidly to new emerging conflicts on the African continent. CEWS ensures early recognition, prevention and transformation of conflicts through informing decision makers on the use of preventive diplomacy, mediation or peace support operations. The instrument has been developed following a target group-based approach and involving civil society in its establishment and use. In a further attempt to support structural conflict prevention and address possible triggers of conflict before they can lead to a dispute, the African Union has developed a tool to identify and address structural vulnerabilities as well as resilience factors within its Member States. In recognition of this approach, the project has recently cooperated with the AU in conducting the first Country Structural Vulnerability and Resilience Assessment (CSVRA) in the Republic of Ghana, which is consequently feeding into the development of a Country Structural Vulnerability Mitigation Strategy (CSVMS). This process, which can be initiated voluntarily upon request of a Member State, helps to identify these factors before setting in motion a process that enables the development of strategic, medium to long-term measures to strengthen good governance for the sustenance of peace, security, and the acceleration of rapid socio-economic transformation in a country. CSVRAs and CSVMSs are innovative instruments that can reinforce the setting up of a national peace infrastructure. The voluntary nature of the process combined with the incentive of initiating a forward-looking and guided reform process constitutes a more people-driven approach with strong local ownership, thus making AU member states more resilient to conflicts. Germany´s continuous support to mediation efforts places a special emphasis on the newly established Network of African Women in Conflict Prevention and Mediation, referred to as FemWise, through technical advice, direct contribution and training. Despite the acknowledgement of the important role of women in ending armed conflicts by the international community (UNSCR 1325), women continue to be under-represented as high-level mediators and in other conflict transformation processes on a global level. FemWise´s objective is to deploy more women as mediators and experts in preventive diplomacy on the African continent in order to ensure a more holistic and representative approach to tackling active or rising disputes. Established only recently in December 2017, FemWise already registered around 200 women on its database and aims to train approximately 100 of them. Distinct to other networks on women in mediation, FemWise catalyses the role of women not only in mediation missions but also in other conflict prevention and peacebuilding efforts. In the area of conflict management, the project places an emphasis on the civilian component in peacekeeping missions. Together with the Centre for International Peace Operations (ZIF), and in cooperation with the UN and the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD), GIZ supported the establishment of a continent-wide database and recruitment tool for civilian experts in AU-led peace support operations. While military and police contingents in Peace Support Operations are usually recruited and deployed through Member States, the growing number of civilian positions needed in these missions can often not be filled as qualified personnel cannot be found and recruited at short notice. The database and personal management tool ensures the recruitment, training and rapid deployment of highly needed civilian experts, in order to support the multidimensional approach embraced by the African Union and the regional organisations. As part of the cooperation with the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS), the project together with the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) supports capacity development and training efforts for stakeholders active in the area of Peace and Security on the continent. The Executive Master’s in Managing Peace and Security in Africa (MPSA) is specifically designed for professionals who seek to enhance their knowledge on Peace and Security through a practical, experience-oriented approach, while continuing their work in their respective organisations. As of 2018, 264 experts and managers from 40 African, 1 European and 2 North American countries have completed the Master´s programme. An alumni network of previous MPSA participants further strengthens the inter-institutional cooperation between the regional organisations active in this field. In addition, the project supports the transnational policy dialogue through the organisation of the Tana High-Level Forum on Security in Africa, which has been taking place annually since 2012 to explore African-led and African-owned solutions to security challenges on the continent. The forum is supported by the African Union, the Government of Ethiopia, seven European governments and Canada, and maintains a close relationship with the Munich Security Conference (MSC). The Forum complements formal meetings of African leaders by creating an intimate, informal and collaborative environment for them to interact directly with relevant stakeholders. Based on the selected theme of the year, participants debate and discuss the strategic and pro-active management of peace and security issues facing the continent. The 7th Tana Forum convened in April 2018 in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. 238 participants, including former and current Heads of State and Government, representatives of civil society and members of research institutions, discussed the challenges and opportunities in achieving greater ownership and responsibility of Africa’s peace and security through the lens of the ongoing African Union reform process.