10th Atlantic Dialogue Forum: Stability Challenges in Africa: Rethinking Efforts

The Atlantic Dialogues, a joint initiative of The German Marshall Fund of the United States and the OCP Policy Center of Morocco, is an annual high-level gathering of the influential public- and private-sector leaders from around the Atlantic Basin for open, informal discussion on cross-regional issues. The Special Envoy on Women Peace and Security was invited to the panel discussion on Stability Challenges and Rethinking Efforts.



  • Thank you  Mr Yonas Adeto, our moderator for giving me the floor.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen

  • I thank  the organizers of the Atlantic Dialogue for inviting me again to the Dialogue, this time focusing on the Stability Challenges in Africa. This is timely as last week the leaders of Africa, gathered in Nairobi , Kenya to discuss the same topic.
  • Before I proceed let me  bring you greetings from H.E Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, who is very committed to  a peaceful and prosperous Africa.

On the question of stability challenges in Africa:

  • The issues are complex and dynamic.
  • Core among them is the issue of  deficiency of good governance and leadership, for instance in  recent times we have seen the rise of coup d’etat eg in Guinea, Mali and Sudan.
  •  Closely connected to this is the deterioration of democracy where we observe   unconstitutional extension of one’s power through change of constitutions . Also, our electoral processes are weak, they are inadequate in making provisions of those who lose an election, especially because   the winner has it all.  In situations where many elections are won with a small margin, this becomes  problematic  because a huge group  is marginalised from state power and  resources.
  • Additionally, is the complex issue  of  managing natural resources ,intertwined with climate change and their ripple effect on livelihoods and   poverty. The cycle of poverty leaves the  insurgents  and the bulging unemployed youth with minimal option apart from holding the gun as is the case in the lake Chad basin.
  • The inadequacies in post conflict reconstruction processes such as disarmament and security sector reform, including disarming the mind, provision of restorative justice, community rehabilitation, reconciliation and cohesion  are factor we need to address.
  • Human security, development and  supporting the capacity of  post conflict states to deliver services is core, otherwise the states will relapse to crisis.  

Having noted these challenges, I would like to share perspectives from the African Union on how we are innovating to address some of the concerns.

  • First and importantly is that Africa has adequate  frameworks and institutions, including the African Governance Architecture borne out of the AU Shared Values agenda as well as The Africa Peace and Security Architecture and the African Peer Review Mechanism. Which are now expected to complement each other much more deeply. It is for this reason that the APSA Pillars and AGA Platform are now establishing joint working methods and implementation plan. However, it is important that we review these tools to allow efficient implementation of recommendations by addressing the blockage caused by the notion of  respect for state sovereignty and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs.
  • Secondly, is that  under agenda 2063,  the  African Union has a flagship project on silencing the guns through an array of political, economic,  environmental and legal success factors to ending violence in Africa.
  • In December 2020, the African Union Assembly agreed to extend the implementation of the roadmap from 2020 till 2030 with a stronger impetus towards zero tolerance for escalation of conflict on the continent.
  • Some of the uniqueness of this extension is the emphasis on accountability, including through naming and shaming.
  • As I conclude, I wish to emphasise that  above all we need accountability at all levels, we need to create an ecosystem of shared values, accountability and amend our mechanisms to enable the continental body to act when regional mechanisms are failing.  

I thank you very much.