Aswan Forum under the spotlight at the 2021 Africa Resilience Forum
30 September 2021
Cairo, Egypt – CCCPA -hosted a virtual high-level panel titled “Reinforcing the Humanitarian-Development-Peace Nexus for a Resilient Africa”, on 30 September 2021, on the sidelines the Africa Resilience Forum. The Panel aimed to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing African governments and development partners in applying a triple humanitarian-development-peace nexus approach in their efforts towards peace, security, and development. The virtual forum was convened by the African Development Bank (AFDB) from 28–30 September 2021.
The discussion was moderated by Ambassador Ahmed Abdel-Latif, CCCPA Director-General and Executive Director of the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development. The Panel saw the participation of a number of high-level speakers including Pia Philip Michael, Undersecretary, Ministry of Peacebuilding, Government of the Republic of South Sudan; Masaki Noke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Japan to the Arab Republic of Egypt; Aissata Kane, Senior Regional Advisor for Sub-Saharan Africa, International Organization for Migration (IOM); Mohamed Ag Ayoya, UNICEF Somalia Representative; as well as May Salem, CCCPA’s Thematic Content Manager for the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development.
Amb. Ahmed Abdel-Latif highlighted that in the spirit of connecting peace, security, and sustainable development, it was only logical to bring the Aswan Forum to the Africa Resilience Forum--citing the strategic partnership between AFDB and the Aswan Forum in contributing to advancing the nexus approach. He also noted how this aligns with one of the main conclusions of the second edition of the Aswan Forum which states “the need to strengthen the resilience of African States’ institutions and communities”.
Pia Philip Michael highlighted South Sudan’s ‘Strategic Framework’--which addresses the triple nexus--as an opportunity to apply the paradigm shift from crisis management to conflict prevention. He stressed the importance of working with traditional and community leaders as they are important stakeholders who are able to mobilize as much for peace as for war. He also stressed the importance of allocating specific financial resources to advance the nexus approach as well as improve coordination among partners for the same purpose.
On his part, Amb. Masaki Noke provided an overview of the key principles of Japan’s New Approach for Peace and Security in Africa (NAPSA), such as respecting African ownership, supporting conflict resolution efforts, and addressing the root causes of conflict and terrorism. He highlighted its three main areas of action: providing support to the stabilization of regions facing terrorism; supporting African lead conflict prevention and mediation; and supporting institution building and governance. He further noted how this contributes to addressing the humanitarian-development-peace nexus as it addresses the root causes of conflict, improves the humanitarian situation on the ground, and contributes to development and is in line with the structure of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD).
Aissata Kane underlined the challenge of forced displacement and the importance of complementarity of interventions in the New Way of Working (NWOW). She described IOM as “a stakeholder that is often at the forefront of several crises and strives to include an economic response element, address root causes of crises, while delivering humanitarian assistance.” She noted that safeguarding humanitarian principles creates ground for development actors to forge peace, while highlighting the need to prioritize resilience programming.
Meanwhile, Mohamed Ag Ayoya highlighted the strategic role of the Nexus Steering Committee in Somalia, which aims to (i) ensure complementarity of response plans, such as the 2022 Humanitarian Response Plan, (ii) oversee implementation, and (iii) ensure interventions are aligned in light of the multi-faceted challenges facing the country. He also stressed the need to offer strong incentives for actors to work together along this nexus as well as the need to scale up provision of social protection and basic services, like health, water, and sanitation.
Finally, May Salem pointed to the synergies between the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development and the Africa Resilience Forum. She highlighted that while normative frameworks and strategies exist for the humanitarian-development-peace approach, operationalization remains a challenge, thus emphasizing the need to invest in Africa’s pillars of resilience. She explained how the Aswan Forum cycle serves as an example of how the operationalization of this nexus approach can work via the implementation of the Forum’s conclusions--through capacity building programs, trainings, and convening, which contribute to building the resilience of African institutions as well as communities.