African Leadership Forum 2017: Peace and Security for an Integrated, United and Sustainable Africa
Achieving peace and security in Africa is of the utmost concern not only due to the immediate, destructive and often fatal outcomes from outbreaks of violence, but also because the presence of conflict undermines the continent’s long-term sustainable development. Consequently, the African Union has given peace and security due prominence. “A peaceful and secure Africa” is one of the key aspirations of the AU’s Agenda 2063 with the goal that “by 2020 all guns will be silent.” The continent has also put in place the African Peace and Security Architecture (APSA), a set of structures for the prevention, management and resolution of crises and conflicts, as well as post-conflict reconstruction. Unfortunately, despite these intentions and efforts to date, lasting peace and security on the continent remains elusive. Africa continues to be the region with the highest number of conflicts. Currently, 21 of the 54 countries in Africa are experiencing some form of conflict, representing almost half of all conflicts worldwide. It is against this background that H.E. Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, and H.E. Benjamin Mkapa, former President of the United Republic of Tanzania, convened the fourth African Leadership Forum (ALF) in Johannesburg on 24-25 August 2017 under the theme “Peace and Security for an Integrated, United and Sustainable Africa”.