April 20, 2021
Bridging the Gap Between Aspirations and the Reality on the Ground: Operationalizing the Structural Prevention Agenda
To achieve a secure and prosperous Africa, a number of normative frameworks on preventing conflict and sustaining peace across the peace continuum have been put into place. While commendable steps have been taken to implement them, tangible progress on the ground remains limited. And now, with the outbreak of the pandemic, peace and development efforts have been further complicated. However, the crisis also provides an opportunity to reinforce the imperative for African countries to mainstream structural prevention in their policies, planning and implementation. This is in line with the widely recognized need to adopt a holistic approach across the humanitarian-development-peace-nexus, while systematically addressing the structural drivers of conflict and violence. Today more than ever, the continent must exert concerted efforts to address the lack of timely and effective preventative action in response to early warning indicators. Against this backdrop, this session will draw on lessons learned and best practices from African actors, in partnership with the UN and international financial institutions, in implementing, monitoring, and evaluating structural prevention efforts. It will zoom in on continental tools and mechanisms, such as the AU Continental Structural Prevention Framework, the AU Silencing the Guns Master Roadmap (extended to 2030), and the African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM), with a view to putting forward recommendations towards effectively operationalizing prevention on the ground. The discussion is intended to advance the operationalization of structural prevention as a core pillar for “rebuilding better”, including through innovative programming, coherent partnerships and sustained financing which corresponds to early warning signs and the needs of the most vulnerable.